Sunday 23rd February
Mid-Sussex League Division One
Tunbridge Wells Foresters U16s 0 Horsham U16s 8
On another windy and wet Sunday morning, the Horsham U16 team traveled early to Tunbridge Wells for this top versus bottom league encounter, that can occasionally be a banana skin fixture!
The early encounters were proving to be the game of two halves scenario, with the Hornets kicking against the strong gusts blowing down the pitch for the first period, so their usual passing game was going to be tested and would have to be at its very best. The passing was really precise, with ball retention being much better and was being worked well through the thirds, with one such pass finding its way into the feet of Ben Aubrey who was able to slide the ball across goal for Archie Fuller to steer the ball home for an early 1-0 lead to Horsham.
The Foresters were finding the wind in their favour but it proved to be too strong whenever they attempted to attack the Hornets’ goal, allowing the yellows’ defensive line to win the ball and work it out from the back time and again. Another intervention allowed Jamie Rodd to find Harvey Woollard, and he crossed well for Aden Radojevic to flick the ball across for Fuller to smash home his second. This rattled Tunbridge Wells, who were now becoming frustrated. They were niggly in their tackles, either late, from behind, or employing any tactic to unsettle the Horsham team who were trying to play good football in terrible conditions. The Hornets rose above this and were unlucky not to grab a third goal on the stroke of half time but went into the break 2-0 to the good.
With some magic spray and Vaseline applied, the yellows went out for the second half knowing ball retention was key, as the wind was going to prove difficult to play well-weighted passes into the forward line. This was executed perfectly from this young side. They were mature and sensible, winning a good corner that was delivered by Tom Ayling onto the head of Diego Carmo, who steered it past the Foresters ‘keeper to make it 3-0. This early goal saw Tunbridge Wells fall apart. Zach Hobson-Hughes chased down a seemingly lost ball to cleverly cross the ball back into the path of the on-rushing Ryan Baldwin who smashed it home for the yellow’s fourth.
This spurred Horsham on and Radojevic, running riot up front, delivered another cross-goal pass that saw Carmo slide in at the far post to grab his second and the Hornets’ fifth The passing game was in full flow now and the ball was well worked across field through the back line, finding Jack Charman who fed Ayo-Oluwa Oke. He played a quick one-two with Baldwin before feeding Radojevic to fire home past the despairing Foresters ‘keeper. Horsham were not finished, with good crossfield passing through midfield, Carmo played a great ball through to Baldwin who also grabbed his second for a 7-0 score line.
However one of the best goals was saved till last. The Wells ‘keeper made two wonderful point blank saves from Radojevic, only for the ball to rebound out onto an oncoming Hobson-Hughes, who cracked a 25 yard, top corner, shot past the frustrated ‘keeper to make the final score 8-0 on this away day for the young Hornets.
Horsham: Dylan Bond, Diego Carmo, Jamie Rodd (cpt), Charlie Nunn, Archie Fuller, Sam Andrews, Harvey Woollard, Harry Sutton, Tom Ayling, Ben Aubrey, Aden Radojevic Subs: Ayo-Oluwa Oke, Callum Chesworth, Zach Hughes, Ryan Baldwin, Jack Charman.