Local derbies are often high tempo affairs with plenty of goals and talking points to discuss. Well unless you attended East Grinstead Town vs Horsham on a February evening that is.
Sometimes in football, the fans can just sense when things are going to happen, and when they won’t, and thus if ever there was an excuse for the old adage of “this has got 0-0 written all over it”, this was it.
Quite simply, baring a couple of decent saves from Horsham goalkeeper Josh Pelling, this game offered nothing, as Horsham failed to produce a shot on target throughout the game, and the hosts failed to breach The Hornets who secured another clean sheet – their third in a row – while also moving two points clear of third placed Hastings United.
This was probably not the game, nor the result anyone expected from either side, as Horsham entered the game unbeaten in five games having conceded just two goals, took on a free scoring Wasps side who had seen off play-off hopefuls Hastings United on Saturday. It should have been a game to look forward to, yet what panned out was largely forgettable as neither side played well in an error strewn game with misplaced passes, while the officials overseeing the match also appeared themselves to have games they won’t be telling the grandkids about.
With neither side able to get out of midfield within the first quarter of an hour, the first chance of note finally arrived on twenty minutes. As Horsham sprayed the ball forward, Tyrell Richardson-Brown did well to keep the ball in play at the by-line, before he pulled it back for Rob O’Toole, the striker then helped it backwards for George Hayward to run onto, but the midfielder skewered his shot horribly over the bar.
On twenty-five minutes, a foul by Dylan Merchant gave The Wasps a good chance from a set piece from twenty-five yards out, however despite Lee Prescott bending his effort around a two-man Horsham wall, and keeping it on target, Pelling saved routinely low down as he gathered cleanly.
At the other end, Horsham won a freekick of their own, that was swung in and promptly headed away, but as the ball came out to Dean Lovegrove, the defender blasted into orbit to the amusement of the home supporters.
In fact, the most drama either side saw came a minute before the interval when a challenge from behind by O’Toole on Ollie Boulding brought the Wasps midfielder down and resulted in an exchange of handbags between both sets of players before referee George Warren managed to calm things down.
H/T: East Grinstead Town 0 Horsham 0
As with the first half, the opening stages of the second period failed to grace the spectators with anything noteworthy. Another twenty minutes passed but eventually a chance fell to the hosts when the best move of the match presented itself to Jerson Dos Santos, who appeared a yard offside when he latched onto a pumped ball over the top, but despite bearing down on goal, his low shot was excellently saved by Pelling who denied him by bravely charging him down.
With the home side slightly edging a tight contest, Dos Santos would then head well wide under pressure from Joe Shelley. The tightly packed midfield from both sides continued to keep Mr. Warren busy throughout as he stopped play several times to deal with some hefty challenges from both sides, but a goal continued to elude the game as chances continued to be in short supply.
East Grinstead Town should have probably won it though with six minutes of normal time remaining. Sparks failed to deal with a clearance and his hesitation allowed Boulding to steal in behind the defence as he broke clear, but looking to go it alone, he fired low straight at Pelling who once more put his body on the line to ensure neither side would have the bragging rights with a point a fair reflection on the night as this largely forgettable bore-draw drew to a close.
Reporter: Matt Dale