It has been a while since Horsham’s youth team players dusted off their boots and put on their kit to play competitive football so there was plenty of anticipation, as well as a chill, in the air today as the squads arrived at The Camping World Community Stadium to resume their respective league programmes.

For the families and fans in attendance, there were plenty of goals to enjoy while Kev’s Kiosk was open to keep the hot drinks flowing. It was great to be back among plenty of smiling faces, with a big ‘thank you’ going out to all our volunteers who helped things run so smoothly.

Our U13s began where they left off before lockdown, with a 6-3 win against Worthing Dynamos Red that maintains the Hornets’ two point lead at the top of the Arun & Chichester League Division A table. Despite taking the lead, the home side were pegged back by a penalty only to regain the lead soon after and, from thereon, they never looked back. A hat-trick by P Tatum, who scored six times in the reverse fixture, puts him at the top of the division’s scoring charts while A Gregory (two) and H Jones also found the net on a satisfying morning for Sam Jones’ side.

Over on the other side of the main stand, on the Jack Scrase Community Pitch, the U12s were having fun of their own as they piled on the agony for bottom side Chichester City Colts by scoring eleven times. Incredibly eight of Horsham’s goals came from players who didn’t start the match, R Moratalla netting four times and Z Langford and S Painter two each from the subs’ bench, while T Jacobs, M Plinston and L Whittington chipped in with a goal apiece.

Leaders Whyke United made it a league double over our U14s, winning a very competitive encounter by two goals to one. In an end to end game, both defences kept chances to a premium and although the Hornets had opportunities to score, they were halted in the final third with H Mitchell the only home player able to find the target. Meanwhile our youngest group, the U11s, had a good win in their Development League match against Chichester City Colts to make it a good return to football for the squad.

Our U17s were the only side on the road today as they travelled to Withdean where, after an early pitch inspection, the ground was thankfully given the thumbs up. With only one training session under their belts, the lads took a while to get into their stride and that may go some way to explaining the incredible final scoreline of Withdean 5 Horsham 8! Four goal J Simpkin led the way for the Hornets, ably supported by H Hazel, Z Beg and C Gibson, with an own goal completing the scoring for Tony Massimo’s side who have yet to drop a point in the Mid-Sussex League despite playing up an age group this season.

Neither of our U16 sides had a fixture this weekend.

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