Horsham left it late to snatch all three points against Corinthian-Casuals and leave their hosts rooted to the foot of the Bet Victor Premier table as Dom Di Paola’s side climbed one place to second.
Despite the two teams at opposite ends of the league, Casuals caused The Hornets problems for much of the evening as they failed to look like a side who were yet to win in the league so far this season. However, having frustrated their visitors for long periods, their wait for a first victory in the league was extended with just three minutes of normal time remaining when Jack Brivio levelled the tie, and then Kieran Lavery clipped in as the game headed into injury time.
Casuals are renowned in Brazil as being the origin club for Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, but there was simply nothing Brazilian about this match. Devoid of quality or flair, the only real thing of note about the opening fourteen minutes was the torrential rain that lashed down on King George’s Field as spectators struggled for visibility across the pitch.
It was perhaps that lack of visibility that contributed to Casuals taking the lead with their first real chance of the game. After winning a freekick in a largely innocuous looking position out wide, goalkeeper George Bentley and his defence in front of him simply failed to deal with Coskun Ekim’s curling freekick as it bounced up inside the 12-yard box and into the back of the net.
Horsham defender Will Miles picked up a yellow card shortly before the half hour having escaped being cautioned earlier on, and he was fortunate to remain on the pitch shortly afterwards when he was pulled up for a tug back as the home fans urged for a red card.
Yet neither side appeared able to get into any kind of stride, with both teams guilty of misplaced passes and heavy challenges as the weather played it’s part on a slick pitch with the ball holding up in both the air and on the ground.
Indeed it took until the 40th minute for anything else worthy of note to arrive, when Harvey Sparks drilled a low cross into the box that was well smothered by home goalkeeper Emmanuel Agboola as Charlie Harris sniffed about inside the six yard box as Casuals took their lead into the break.
H/T: Corinthian Casuals 1 Horsham 0
Horsham made a positive start to the second half when a goalmouth scramble saw Agboola fail to hold onto a high ball under pressure, but the hosts quickly cleared their lines to keep Horsham at bay.
Agboola was then forced into making his first real save of the match ten minutes into the half when he tipped Zack Newton’s low drive around the post.
Moments later, Harris hit a freekick within range over the bar as Horsham laboured to find an equaliser, but at the other end, Bentley ensured The Hornets did not fall further behind when he superbly blocked one-on-one against Shaun Okojie.
With time running out, Casuals continued to defend well as they maintained a disciplined back line and crowded Horsham’s midfield out and continued to frustrate The Hornets with Ekim taking his time to get back onto his feet in what Horsham felt was time wasting following a touchline challenge.
But Horsham would turn the game on its head three minutes from the end. A miss-hit from Jack Brivio fortunately came back into his path off a Casuals defender, and it opened up perfectly for him to plant his shot past Agboola as the midfielder marked his first start of the season with his first goal of the campaign.
Incredibly, there was still time for more late drama as Horsham sensed a late turnaround when they won a corner in the 90th minute. Harris sent the ball in deep where it was headed back across goal by Joe Shelley, and leaning backwards Kieran Lavery hooked the ball into the net to steal victory in dramatic fashion.
Reporter: Matt Dale
Photos below by John Lines