Horsham YMCA 0, Horsham 4: Hornets back to the top of the table with derby-day victory

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1609366 SUS-160328-221606001

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1609366 SUS-160328-221606001

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Horsham reclaimed top spot in the Premier Division with a derby day victory over landlords Horsham YMCA at Gorings Mead.

YM were hosting their tenants and the Hornets eased to a 4-0 victory to complete the double over their nearest rivals.

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Joe Shelley. Pic Steve Robards SR1609361 SUS-160328-221555001

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Joe Shelley. Pic Steve Robards SR1609361 SUS-160328-221555001

Braces from Joe Shelley and Terry Dodd ensured the visitors leapfrogged Eastbourne Town at the top of the table, who dropped points again in a 0-0 draw with rivals Eastbourne United.

It leaves Horsham level on points with Town with a game in hand, but with a far superior goal difference with five games left to play, while YM remain fourth.

The first chance was carved out by Horsham as Dodd switched the ball inside to Shelley, whose through ball put Kieron Pamment away inside Dan Evans, but Mark Fox raced out to smother at the winger’s feet.

A neat Dan Sullivan ball over the top of the visitors’ defence looked to have put Sam Scahaaf away, but the linesman flag was up against the forward.

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1609358 SUS-160328-221533001

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1609358 SUS-160328-221533001

On 17 minutes a Charlie Farmer ball over the top fell nicely for Dodd, but Dan Sullivan forced him out wide and he could only fire across the goalmouth with no yellow shirts in the box.

Five minutes later, Horsham opened the scoring as Darren Boswell’s neat feet allowed him to slide in Mark Knee on the left.

He rode a flying challenge from Phil Johnson to cross to the far post where Shelley rose highest to nod in from close range.

Horsham had hopeful penalty appeals waved away soon after as Dodd went down under pressure on his back from centre-back Alex Gathern, but referee James Humphries was unmoved.

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1609344 SUS-160328-221449001

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham YMCA v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1609344 SUS-160328-221449001

YM continued to try and battle their way through a tight back line and a Scahaaf ball into Johnson was headed behind by Knee.

From the resulting corner, James Shaw parried under pressure, but the ball was hooked clear before YM could pounce.

YM’s Jerome Beckles then fired a long-range effort towards goal which seemed to take a slight deflection, but Shaw plucked it out the air and managed to hold it.

Two minutes before the break, Luke Donaldson’s free-kick across goal looked to be dropping into the top corner, but a strong Shaw hand pushed it away.

YM continued to finish the half strong as a good interchange between Schaaf, Evans and Donaldson saw the latter cross to the far post, but Johnson’s header was off target.

Fox was the first in action in the second half as he punched away a Dodd free-kick, but Horsham did double their lead after just five minutes.

Shelley played a long ball forwards to Dodd after a YM free-kick and after an interchange with Boswell, Dodd fired across goal and through a number of bodies into the far bottom corner.

The Hornets added a third on 64 minutes as Shelley met a Knee free-kick again deep in the area and his stooping header dropped into the net.

YM’s misery was made worse just five minutes later as Dodd poked home into the far corner after the ball fell to him on the edge of the box as YM failed to clear.

That put a slightly flattering gloss on things and seemed harsh on YM, who had competed well for much of the match, but with little reward in the final third.

Fox was alert to deny the tenants a fifth as he raced out to clear as Shelley tried to slip through Pamment, while YM’s day was summed up when Dan Sullivan had to be helped off with an injury in the closing stages.

Substitute Nick Sullivan tried to give YM a consolation late on, but his attempt at heading in a cross was cleared.

Horsham YMCA: Fox, D.Sullivan (Crane 85), Gathern, Gunner, Evans, Wright, Hibbert (Dugdale 65), Beckles, Donaldson, Johnson (N.Sullivan 65), Schaaf. Unused subs: Budge, Gedling.

Horsham: Shaw, Duncan, Jones, Farmer, Knee, Pamment, Shelley, Keehan (Smith 88), Hunt (Clark 71), Boswell (Lewis 75), Dodd. Unused subs: Chadwick, Storrie.

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