Tomorrow brings another big day of fixtures for Horsham Youth, with a League Cup quarter-final and a top of the table clash thrown in for good measure.
Dixie Laker’s U16s will fancy their chances of making it through to the last four of the Mid-Sussex League Cup when they travel to fellow Division One side East Grinstead Town. The table-topping Hornets, who won 7-0 at Three Bridges last weekend, have lost just twice this season and, in December, defeated the Wasps 8-0 at the CWCS. Their opponents have played just once since that loss, a 2-1 Sussex County Cup quarter-final reverse at Eastbourne-based Select Soccer at the start of January and currently occupy 7th spot with 3 wins and a draw from their 6 league matches.
U15 Amber face arguably their toughest test to date when they visit second-placed Premier United in the first of back-to-back matches with the Seaford side. Despite dropping just two points this season, Horsham are just one ahead of tomorrow’s opponents who have played one game more so they will be keen to secure the victory that would put clear daylight between the sides. Since losing two of their first three matches this season, Premier have won each of their subsequent 8 in the league but, last week, suffered a rare blip in going down 5-2 at Haywards Heath in the League Cup. Ironically the two sides would have contested the semi-final of that competition had Premier won that match so it will have been with some frustration for them that their victors were unable to field a team for their last four tie, meaning the Hornets were given a bye through to the April final.
We welcome two Worthing teams to the CWCS tomorrow, with our U13s facing Worthing Town Blue and U15 Green hosting Worthing Town Black, both in the Arun & Chichester League. Although it would take a remarkable set of results for Ben Pugh’s U13s to win the league, maximum points from their final three league matches – all against teams below them in the table – could result in a top three finish which would represent a decent campaign for the Hornets whose most recent outing resulted in a 1-1 draw with tomorrow’s opponents. For their part, Worthing have been beaten in their two matches since that draw and are two points below Horsham with a game in hand.
The Greens hold an astonishing 15 point lead at the top of the Arun & Chichester League Division B and will be overwhelming favourites to see off the challenge of a Worthing Town Black side that were beaten 5-0 at home in November’s reverse fixture and who have lost on their last three outings, including defeat in the League Cup semi-finals to Loxwood.
Our two youngest sides are both away at Rustington, where the U11s will be looking to defend their perfect Arun & Chichester Development League record against the local Otters side and the U12s trying to build on three successive victories. For the U12s, it will be a repeat of the opening fixture of the season when the two sides shared the points in a goalless draw that is the only stalemate recorded by any of the Horsham sides this season, from the seniors down to the U11s!
Finally, spare a thought for our U14s whose Mid-Sussex League match at Crawley Down Gatwick has been postponed for a third time. The weather put paid to any attempts to play this match just before and after Christmas and with their second-placed opponents unable to raise a team this weekend, an identical scenario to the reverse fixture earlier in the season, Alex Bethell’s side have been awarded the three points that opens up a 9 point lead at the top of Division One.
For those attending either of the matches at the CWCS, don’t forget about our wonderful breakfasts (available from 10am) and why not stay for the two live Premier League matches – Burnley v Arsenal and Spurs v Man City – both of which will be shown on the big screen, with the fully-stocked bar open throughout the afternoon.