Horsham secured another emphatic victory in their latest friendly fixture, defeating Dorking Wanderers’ second string by five goals to one in front of an appreciative Hop Oast crowd.
With the National Leaguers hosting Barnet in a prestige FA Trophy tie, it was a youthful side that made the trip down the A264 and, although putting in a promising display, they were no match for Dom Di Paola’s free-scoring side who took their goals tally to an impressive 31 in six matches.
After both sides had fashioned half chances, Eddie Dsane put Horsham ahead on 18 minutes when he converted a low, driven, cross from Harvey Sparks, but Dorking would have drawn level within minutes but for a fine close range save by Brad House. Having survived that scare, the Hornets doubled their lead when another left-sided attack resulted in a goal for Lee Harding, who followed up to net from close range after the Wanderers ‘keeper could only push Sparks’ stinging cross back into play.
Charlie Harris went close with an effort from distance before the half ended with the unusual sight of striker Chris Smith donning the goalkeeping gloves after House was forced off the field, having felt a muscle pull in his thigh.
The second half got underway with assistant-manager Jimmy Punter taking over in goal and Smith restored to his more natural role in attack, and it wasn’t long before Horsham were celebrating again when Harris smashed in his side’s third, following a defensive lapse by the visitors.
The Surrey club pulled a goal back on 73 minutes but Harris restored the three goal advantage, just five minutes later, sliding in to to apply the finish to a quick break before Smith completed his eventful afternoon by adding a fifth, four minutes from time, Sub Alex Laing was bundled over in the penalty area but the referee applied the perfect advantage, the ball running free to Smith who rolled the ball into the net for a simple finish.