Horsham 2 Guernsey 4: Hornets fightback proves too late

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Horsham suffered their seventh league defeat of the season when they lost 4-2 in an entertaining game to highflyers Guernsey.

Hornets beat the Channel Islanders twice last season but a terrible start meant past glories would not be repeated.

Gary Charman’s side was never in the game as they found themselves a goal behind after only two minutes and 2-0 behind after only 22 minutes thanks to a brace from the pacey Marc McGrath.

Tony Nwachukwu pulled a goal back on the half hour for the Hornets but the visitors restored their two-goal lead just four minutes later at the third attempt by Dominic Heaume.

Glyn Dyer made sure of the three points with a fourth goal in the 74th minute before Nwachukwu reignited Horsham hopes with his second goal of the game eight minutes before the end.

Horsham fielded an unchanged side from that which beat Whyteleafe 4-3 on Tuesday night, with Charman playing himself again in the unusual role of striker alongside Jamie Cade.

Guernsey are topscorers in the division and you could see why as McGrath made the most of a good pass from Glyn Dyer, outpacing the defence to tap-in from short-range.

Five minutes later they had a goal disallowed for offside and again it was McGrath who managed to beat the defence.

Nwachukwu was the mainstay for Horsham attacks and having forced a simple save in the opening minute he crossed to Charman who controlled, swivelled and shot on target, forcing a low save from keeper Chris Tardif.

But seconds later McGrath made it 2-0 from a cross by Heaume which he tucked inside of the post.

Byron Napper skied a chance at the other end miles over the bar before McGrath went narrowly wide and Dave Kilroy hit the side-netting.

Heaume made it 3-1 from two yards after initial shots hit the post and were cleared off the goalline.

Guernsey continued to press forward as Craig Young hit the crossbar from long-range and Ryan Zico Black lifted a dipping free-kick inches over the bar.

Dyer killed the game off as a competition at 4-1 but, refusing to roll over, Horsham started to play well as substitute Jamie Ampleford missed a delightful floated free-kick by Tom Gilbert flicked on by Nwachukwu, who then volleyed in a late second goal after a corner by Ampleford was headed into the zone by the hard-working Charman.

Hornets played some good stuff in the last ten minutes and could have scored a third after 90 minutes when substitute Harry Smith supplied the advancing Billy-Joe King but he somehow managed to fire wide from the six-yard box and Hornets’ fightback proved to be too little, too late.

HORNETS: Williams, Hills (Hamilton 75), King, Tarbie, Gilbert, Kaffo, Nwachukwu, Napper, Charman, Cade (Ampleford 50), Williams (Smith 66).

Unused subs: Gibson, Frankland

ATTENDANCE: 269

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tony Nwachukwu