Horsham remain deep in relegation woe as they slipped to a worrying 2-1 home defeat against basement side Walton Casuals tonight.
Former Hornet Gabriel Odunaike came back to haunt the home side by netting a brace to leave Horsham level on points with Casuals at the foot of the Ryman League South Division table.
Tony Nwachukwu pulled back a late consolation from the penalty spot as Casuals goalkeeper Francisco Ramos was adjudged to have taken down the Horsham winger in the box when he went through one on one.
Ramos picked up a second yellow as Nwachukwu converted the spot kick on 89 minutes but it wasn’t enough and the result leaves the home side eight points from safety.
Nwachukwu made his 200th appearance for the home side, while Samir Hadi made his home debut and Gary Charman threw himself into the starting line-up at the last minute despite his illness over the weekend and yesterday.
The home side showed intent as early as the second minute as Nwachukwu forced a corner and Charman’s header from the flag kick flew just over.
A minute later and Nwachukwu beat Jordan Johnson down the right flank and Charman headed his deep cross just wide.
At the other end, former Hornet Billy Dunn carved out a couple of forward moves but a committed tackle from Ade Akande halted him on the near side, before Billy Joe-King stopped Gabriel Odunaike’s advance on the far side of the box.
On 12 minutes, Tom Gilbert cut out a dangerous ball across the box by Luke Medley for Odunaike, before minutes later the same ball looked to have put the former Horsham man in, but he missed the ball.
With Horsham looking half asleep at the back, a quick free kick almost caught them out and with the danger cleared only as far as Medley, he rifled just wide from the edge of the box.
Casuals full-back Jack Barton’s deep cross on 22 minutes was fumbled away by Gareth Williams and Dunn’s second attempt fired into the side netting.
At the other end, Charman headed down to Gilbert and, after his shot was blocked, Max Miller flashed his across the face of goal.
On 38 minutes, Dunn’s quick free saw him skip past Ryan Marriott and drive into the box but horribly skew his shot wide.
The home side asked all the early questions in the second half and were stroking the ball about nicely, until they were caught out with a route-ball on 51 minutes.
A long ball from the right full-back went over Gilbert and Medley squared for Odunaike, who tapped home past Gareth Williams.
Half-time substitute Jamie Ampleford forced a smart stop from Francisco Ramos on 57 minutes as the keeper turned behind his angled shot.
Gareth Williams then raced out to deny Odunaike a second on 64 minutes as the striker sprung the offside trap and went through one on one.
Casuals keeper Ramos took a back pass out of his area and felled Charman and Hadi’s resulting free kick was headed behind at the far post.
A driving run from Harry Smith saw him fail to slide in Ampleford and within seconds, Casuals broke forwards and Dunn put through Odunaike, who finished past Gareth Williams for a 2-0 lead with ten minutes remaining.
Nwachukwu’s late penalty came ahead of six extra minutes, but a number of fouls from both sides saw the game die out.
Horsham: Williams, Marriott, Gilbert, Akande, King, Nwachukwu, Tarbie (Smith 65), Morley, Hadi, Charman (T.Williams 75), Miller (Ampleford 45). Unused subs: Hills, Bidgood.
Casuals: Ramos, Barton, Obaye-Dally (Myers 38), Rowe, Johnson, Adusei (Adams 56), Collins, Day, Dunn, Medley (James-Lewis 76), Odunaike. Unused subs: Abiola-Daramcla, Bello.