Atkinson treble not enough for Horsham in a ten-goal thriller

Hockey. South Premier Division 2: Horsham v West Hampstead. Cirdec Atkinson in action. Pic Steve Robards SR1523810 SUS-151210-145007001
Hockey. South Premier Division 2: Horsham v West Hampstead. Cirdec Atkinson in action. Pic Steve Robards SR1523810 SUS-151210-145007001
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Horsham’s winless run extended to four games as they lost more ground in the promotion race by sharing the spoils in a ten-goal thriller.

A Cirdec Atkinson hat-trick was not enough to get them back to winning ways away at Marlow as they squandered a 3-1 half-time lead.

Horsham, who sit fifth in the table seven points behind the leaders, were pleased to end the goal drought that has seen them fail to take points in their last two games.

However they need to find ways to close out games when in front. Twice on Saturday they led and twice they let it slip allowing Marlow a result they didn’t really deserve.

Horsham started brightly and a well-worked John Burroughs goal opened the scoring within the first five minutes.

Matt Hough extended the lead with a penalty corner, then Marlow got a goal back before Atkinson put a second corner past the home keeper’s left shoulder.

With Horsham 3-1 in front at the turn, they looked set to take the points.

Every team has a 10 minute purple patch and, from the restart, Marlow set out to redress the balance, brought the scores level within seven minutes, and then took the lead, all three goals being an experience the Horsham defence will want to forget.

Luckily at the other end of the pitch Atkinson showed the coolness of experience, beating two defenders and the keeper with sharp stick skills to score a cute goal after a miss-trap at a corner.

He then sealed his hat-trick with a stunning shoulder-high reverse stick shot following a fine aerial ball into the D from Freddie Campbell.

With only seven minutes left on the clock it should have been all over, but Horsham’s celebrations proved premature when another defensive error let the home team steal a point at the death.

Team manager Al Campbell said: “We’re playing some great hockey but schoolboy errors are letting us down.

“There are no easy wins at this level and we need to learn to concentrate when the chips are down.”

Horsham host strugglers Eastbourne on Saturday.

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