Broadbridge Heath 1, Horsham 0: Holmes heaps misery on Hornets’ title chances

Steve Painter. Broadbridge Heath v Hassocks. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160603-214824001
Steve Painter. Broadbridge Heath v Hassocks. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160603-214824001

A Jake Holmes strike saw Broadbridge Heath deal another blow to Horsham’s Premier Division title hopes this evening.

In a rain-soaked night at the Leisure Centre, the Bears recorded a historic win over their local rivals in what could prove a damning week for the Hornets.

SCFL Premier Division: Horsham v Arundel -  Dominic Di Paola  SUS-160225-150622002

SCFL Premier Division: Horsham v Arundel - Dominic Di Paola SUS-160225-150622002

A string of superb saves from home goalkeeper Michael Chester kept the visitors at bay - especially during a frantic start to the second half, when no-one could believe the score remained at 0-0.

Heath then hit a sucker punch on 58 minutes as the ball was shifted left to an unmarked Holmes and he finished right-footed past an onrushing James Shaw.

And Horsham’ misery was compounded late on as captain Joe Shelley was shown a second booking for dissent and was dismissed.

The results sees Eastbourne Town - who snuck a late 3-2 win at Arundel - go a point clear of the top of the table with a game in hand helped by their victory over Horsham on Saturday.

The first chance of the evening went to the visitors as Darren Boswell beat his man on the left and his deep cross which was headed goalwards by Evan Archibald was parried by Chester.

Heath then had two glorious chances in as many minutes from free-kicks that were a carbon copy of each other.

Scott Weller swung the first in from the left and Andy Waddingham somehow put over the bar, while a second delivery by the winger was also nodded high of the crossbar moments later.

As sheets of rain fell, Heath continued to close their opponents down quickly and as a result, they couldn’t get their passing game going on the difficult surface.

Archibald did have an effort deflected past the post, Kieron Pamment showed quick feet and his shot was blocked behind, while Boswell showed a good touch to take down a crossfield ball but was flagged offside.

That was testament to a spirited defensive showing from the hosts and they also managed to clear a Joe Shelley header at the far post.

Horsham’s best chance of the half came four minutes before half-time as Terry Dodd picked out Kev Keehan on a fast counter attack and his through ball put Pamment through one on one, but Chester pushed his shot wide.

Chester ensued Heath survived an onslaught at the start of the second half as he pushed an Archibald effort around the post.

Boswell’s long-range volley came off the inside of the upright and rolled out, only for the follow-up cross to the far post and header from Shelley to be clawed over the post by the Heath stopper.

Archibald then had a one-on-one chance pushed over the bar and Dodd was also denied in a fast-paced ten-minute spell.

The home side then took full advantage of Horsham’s spurned chances as the ball was worked wide after some neat passes to Holmes, who finished well past Shaw.

Brad Lewis replaced an injured Keehan and Harry Smith also came on as the away side tried desperately to rescue a point, but in truth, the closest they came was when Archiblad somehow glanced a header wide as the Bears ran down the clock.

And with Shelley dismissed it was fairly routine for Heath to hold out for a memorable victory and cap a hard-working display.

Heath: M.Chester, Wicking, Flack, Howard, Robinson, Martin, Waddingham, Findlay, Weller, Andrade, Holmes (Legrange 82). Unused: Attwater, Meech, Mutungi.

Horsham: Shaw, Storrie (Smith 81), Farmer, Jones, Knee, Pamment, Keehan (Lewis 75), Shelley, Boswell, Dodd, Archibald. Unused: Atkinson, Hunt, Duncan.

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