Sunday October 4 2020

Havant & Waterlooville 2 - Horsham 1

Havant & Waterlooville
Deacon 30' Wright 58'
Miles 90'

FA Cup 2nd Qualifying round
Nyewood Lane, Bognor Regis
Sunday October 4 2020
Attendance: 0

Horsham are out of the Emirates FA Cup as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of National League South side Havant & Waterlooville on a soaking wet afternoon at Bognor Regis Town’s Nyewood Lane.

With Havant and Waterlooville’s new 3G pitch at Westleigh Park yet to be completed, the Hawks decided to move the tie to Bognor Regis, which allowed directors and officials to test out the recently build stand erected by The Rocks over the summer. However, with Covid-19 rules prohibiting any fans to visit games from Step 2 and above, Horsham’s offer to reverse the tie, allowing for Hornets fans to attend and for both clubs to share the gate receipts was turned down by The Hawks, who decided they would prefer to play in an empty ground at a neutral venue if it meant denying The Hornets of any kind of psychological advantage.

Not that it would have really made much difference, on paper at least, this was the hardest draw Horsham could have got, with the Hampshire side finishing as runners up in the National League South – eventually losing a play-off semi final –  at the end of last season when the campaign was curtailed due to the pandemic. But while Horsham gave a good account of themselves and made sure they had a fighting chance throughout the contest, the fact was Havant & Waterlooville’s class was too much for them as the ‘hosts’ took a half time lead through Rorrie Deacon, then doubled it just before the hour mark courtesy of prolific marksman Tommy Wright. Horsham did manage to pull a goal back in injury time, but it was too little, too late for Dom Di Paola’s side who have only won once in their first five competitive matches this season.

Despite heavy rain, the Nyewood Lane pitch remained slick enough for Rorrie Deacon to latch onto a nice pass and rush one-on-one against Bradley House,, however despite the Horsham No. 1 blocking a low shot with his feet, the linesman’s flag had already been raised with Deacon having strayed offside.

Horsham participated well in the early stages, as on 11 minutes, Harvey Sparks sent over a deep cross that Rob O’Toole headed high and over, but a mistake at the back from The Hornets nearly cost them dear when Tommy Wright almost capitalised and cracked a shot, but House stood up superbly to beat the ball away and keep the scores level.

House was again called into action four minutes later when his defence failed to deal with the danger inside the box, a sliding challenge by Jerry O’Sullivan leaving the full back stricken as he couldn’t dispossess Deacon, and as the Hawks forward curled a delicious ball towards the far post, House denied him a superb diving save, palming the ball away.

Not to be denied his goal, Deacon found the net on thirty minutes with a well worked Hawks goal. A super ball over from Theo Widdrington was controlled brilliantly by the frontman, and despite House rushing off his line to attempt to smother, Deacon cleverly lifted the ball over the ‘keeper and cushioned the ball into the far side of the net.

Rob O’Toole’s accidental clattering of Hawks shot-stopper Ross Worner resulted in a lengthy break in play after taking a knock to the head, but when play finally got back underway, Havant & Waterlooville continued their search for a second goal before the break as Deacon’s ball towards Iaciofano was eventually cleared by Horsham despite the Hawks striker trying to out-manoeuvre his marker inside the box.

House once more made another impressive save forcing a finger tip save from Benny Read, as he made sure that the full-back’s fierce first time shot cleared the bar as Horsham made it to halftime with all to play for during the second half.

H/T: Havant & Waterlooville 1 Horsham 0

With Worner still suffering from the after-effects of his collision with O’Toole, Joe Tupper was sent on to take his place between the sticks for the start of the second period.

Still though, Havant & Waterlooville looked the more likely to grab a second goal, but Horsham were putting in a brave display in the hope of providing an upset. Some hard fought persistence by Wright saw him somehow emerge victorious from a tussle with Tom Day who took had taken him out towards the by-line, but Wright escaped and played back to Iaciofano who was prevented from scoring with a great block by Will Miles, as House came out to claim the loose ball.

But eventually, the pressure told as Havant & Waterlooville added a second in the 57th minute. A pass across from Deacon to Wright was converted with a sumptuous left footed strike to effectively kill off The Hornets.

Havant & Waterlooville began to relax as they aimed to pick Horsham off, and they nearly got a third only to once again be prevented by House who again made a fine save, clearing from Iaciofano’s side-footed effort that appeared to be heading straight for the bottom corner.

The National League South side were made to sweat out the remaining minutes of injury time though, when Horsham managed to reduce the arrears with their first shot on target thanks to a superb diving header by Will Miles, who found space in The Hawks’ defence to nod in from Sparks’ deep cross.

But it proved little too late as Horsham couldn’t muster an unlikely comeback, with Havant & Waterlooville more determined to add a third to kill the game off, but the brilliant House once more impressed and ensured the scoreline remained respectable but diving down low to save from Widdrington after he had been teed up by Daniel Ajakaije’s pull back.

Horsham will now need to focus on getting their league campaign back on track on Tuesday evening when Enfield visit The Camping World Community Stadium, before we follow up that game with a trip to Wingate & Finchley on Saturday. Ticket news for both games will be made available later this week throughout our usual social media channels and on the club website.

Report: Matt Dale

Images: Kieron Louloudis

Havant & Waterlooville v Horsham 04.10.2020


  • 1Bradley House
  • 2Steve Metcalf
  • 3Harvey Sparks
  • 4Charlie Harris
  • 5Will Miles
  • 6Tom Day
  • 7Rob O'Toole
  • 8Jerry O'Sullivan
  • 9Reece Hall
  • 10Chris Smith
  • 11Lee Harding
  • 12David Ray
  • 14Dylan Merchant
  • 15Gary Charman
  • 16Joseph Futers
  • 17Kieran Lavery
  • 18Jack Brivio
  • 19Jimmy Punter

Havant & Waterlooville

  • 1Ross Worner
  • 2Benny Read
  • 3Anthony Straker
  • 6Sam Magri
  • 8Billy Clifford
  • 10Giuseppe Iaciofano
  • 11Theo Widdrington
  • 15Craig Robson
  • 18Bedsente Gomis
  • 20Tommy Wright
  • 21Roarie Deacon
  • 5Moussa Diarra
  • 12Christian Rowe
  • 14Simon Walton
  • 16Daniel Ajakaije
  • 17Lucas Kennedy-Sinclair
  • 22Lawson Bright
  • 26Joe Tupper

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