It’s back, we’re back, and you’re invited!
First team football makes its overdue return to the Camping World Community Stadium tomorrow, with the added bonus that YOU can join us! Yes, after a frustrating wait of 180 long days, our turnstiles will be reopened and ready to welcome you in when we take on Southern League Premier South opponents Harrow Borough (kick-off 3pm).
In regular circumstances, Horsham supporters might have been excused for giving a match against our former Athenian and Isthmian League opponents a miss, with memories of some very heavy defeats still etched indelibly in the memory. But for those that have been starved of any Hornets action since the 2-0 defeat to Bognor Regis Town back on March 10th, tomorrow provides the perfect opportunity of familiarising themselves with Dom Di Paola’s new-look squad ahead of the season’s opener at Leatherhead in a fortnight’s time.
This is, though, the ‘new normal’ – for the time being at least – so the club is limited on how many spectators it can allow into the stadium, starting with 280 tomorrow and, if all goes well, increasing to 580 for Tuesday’s visit of Ramsgate. Because of these restrictions both matches will be ALL TICKET, purchasable through our dedicated website at a cost of £8 for adults, £5 for seniors and U18s, and £2 for U16s.
Click here for tickets.
Covid-19 guidelines will be strictly observed, with temperature readings, track and trace, hand sanitiser and social distancing measures all in place, including a clearly marked one-way system inside the ground, all of which require everyone’s full co-operation to help ensure things run smoothly.
In a further effort to socially-distance, our club shop will open up under a gazebo at the entrance to the ground from 1pm tomorrow, selling an array of club merchandise.
So much for the rules of social etiquette and engagement. What about the two teams?
Both managers will concur that results are secondary at this stage of the proceedings but, for the record, the Hornets recovered from last Saturday’s first defeat of the summer, away to Hartley Wintney, by snatching a last-gasp winner at South Park on Tuesday night to make it five wins and five clean sheets from six pre-season friendlies.
Harrow, who had a near two week headstart on ourselves, began their new season’s preparations on August 4th with an entertaining 3-3 draw at Bracknell Town and, following a 2-0 loss at Hanwell Town and back-to-back draws with Colliers Wood (2-2) and Egham Town (0-0), they picked up their first victory of the summer with a 3-0 win at Windsor. A 90th minute goal enabled them to see off our divisional rivals Potters Bar Town (3-2) and, following a dismal defeat at Ascot United of the Combined Counties League, they edged out Chertsey Town 2-1 in their most recent outing.
Tomorrow’s match is Borough’s penultimate fixture before commencing their league programme on September 19th with a long trek to Truro City, who topped the table prior to the league being scrapped in March, while the Hornets, after facing Ramsgate on Tuesday night, conclude their pre-season schedule with a trip to Dorking Wanderers next Saturday.
** Supporters planning to take the bus to tomorrow’s match should be aware that Metrobus have made some amendments to their timetables for Routes 23 and 98, to and from the ground. There are still up to four buses an hour but capacity is restricted and supporters may find that they are unable to board if the maximum permitted number of passengers is reached. **
If you can’t make it to the game, you will be able to keep up-to-date with all the action by following us on twitter, with a full match report to follow on this website on Saturday evening.
Image: Claude Seanla scoring in the Hornets’ most recent win against Harrow Borough – in August 2009!