“Let’s hope some of the Tonbridge zip returns today,” was a remark in the Horsham programme for this Royal Ulster Riﬂes Cup tie against County League side, Newhaven. But it looked as though that zip was just a ﬂash in the pan, for Horsham once again played the drab kind of football with which they opened the season. Yet another County League side knocked them out of the competition they had won twelve times, though both sides seemed to be lacking in ideas and the only people who shone at all on the field were the two goalkeepers.
For once, the mighty Ernie Manouch took a back seat in comparison with the brilliant performance put up by Allen; the young Newhaven stopper was applauded by players as well as spectators for some of his ‘impossible’ saves. Horsham’s left-winger, Peter Farley, who had come in for the injured Alec Ockenden, was himself injured halfway through the ﬁrst half and spent the rest of the match hobbling. David Green’s ankle gave him his usual trouble and on several occasions he had to leave the ﬁeld for treatment. These handicaps did not help a Horsham side who were never in command of the game.
In the opening minutes they had some narrow escapes with a defence that looked most unsettled, with Owen Parker playing at ﬁght-back and Roger Christmas moving up to right-half. Johnny Elphick gave Allen a hard shot to save, but the keeper gathered safely. This was followed up by Leslie Glue ballooning a ball high over the crossbar and out of the ground. Centre-forward Shaw shot well for Newhaven and Manouch had to dive to turn the ball round the post for a corner. In a scramble in front of the Newhaven goal three Horsham forwards had shots, but each time Allen was there to save. Green came the nearest to scoring for Horsham after forty minutes, but again a diving save by Allen put the ball out of danger. It was about this time that Green’s ankle injury began to tell and he left the ﬁeld until after the interval.
In the second half Elphick and then Oliver Coldman shot hard at goal but without success. Then came the goal which was one of the ﬁnest seen at Queen-street by any side for a long time. Thomson snapped up a pass from Jones, swerved round Don Webb, who was deputising for the injured Nobby Cobb, and from outside of the penalty area he crashed home a shot which had Manouch beaten the whole way. Soon after this, the Newhaven goal had a narrow escape. Allen had safely gathered a shot and was challenged by Coldman. He dropped the ball and fell to the ground with Coldman falling with him. The outside-right managed to get a boot to the ball as he fell and it began to trickle towards the goal-line. Right-back Loughran was backing up well, however, and he cleared off the line.
Green had his usual good game for Horsham and Parker was cool in defence, backed up well by Albert King and Jack Marriner. The unfortunate Webb did not seem able to do a thing right, while Farley never had a chance to prove himself following his injury. For the visitors, former Horsham legend Doug Potter turned out at left-half; he had moved to Newhaven following the demise of the Skyways team the previous season.