Sunday saw the start of league action again for our Young Hornets. The visit of Chichester was always going to be a tough test and measure of the competition for the season ahead.
With a few new players making their debuts in the starting line-up, Horsham started well to the game and within minutes L Medrow was pulled down after a blistering drive down the left and Horsham were awarded a free-kick which was converted sublimely by L York into the top right corner of the goal but unfortunately was judged to have been taken too quickly before the ref’s whistle.
The game continued to be an edgy affair with both teams losing and gaining possession and chances squandered. Chichester had several attempts at goal but the calm and collected debutant keeper A Lelliott made a string of saves and brave tackles to keep the opposition from scoring. Horsham continued to lose out in the middle of the park too often and at half time changed formation to try and command more of the ball. Half time 0-0.
Horsham started the second half brightly and the change of personnel and formation was having an affect. The quick feet and work rate from E Evans was continuously frustrating the opposition and Horsham were winning more of the battles and loose balls. Now the ball was being kept and moved better, we were making strides into the final third and the breakthrough came with eight minutes to go when L Medrow managed to beat the defender with his head to a loose ball and guide it into the back of the net.
With a nervy few minutes to try and hold onto the slender lead, Chichester were fired up to get an equaliser and after some mind games with our players and catching Horsham on the break, the visitors played the ball through the lines and they managed to slot away the equaliser with just minutes remaining. Not long after, the final whistle came and although disappointed, the draw was probably a fair result.
Managers Matt Ayling and Ken Osbourne commented after the game “We’re really proud of the way our players conducted themselves today in what was a tough and at times difficult environment. We played the way we wanted to and never let our heads drop. It was a great learning curve today and certainly more positives than negatives and the few there were we can go away and work on in training. The team spirit was spot on and this result gives us a promising platform to go on and develop further this season.”
MOTM – A Lelliott
Line-up: A Lelliott, R Osbourne, L York, S Ayling, N Tandy, Z Bull, E Evans, N Pile, L Medrow, C Mitchell, A Steet-Williams
Subs: A Maynard, H Clark, T Ong, B Moyo, H Marshall