Hornets edge a thriller away at Whyteleafe

JPCT 230814 S14350632x Football, Ryman League South Division - Horsham v Merstham  -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140826-105053001
JPCT 230814 S14350632x Football, Ryman League South Division - Horsham v Merstham -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140826-105053001
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Horsham picked up their first away points of the season last night in a thriller encounter away at fifth-placed Whyteleafe.

The visitors edged out their host, who went into the match with just one defeat to their name all season, 4-3 in a grand-stand second half.

On a 3G pitch, a dominant Horsham led 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from the returning Jamie Cade and player-manager Gary Charman.

It looked like an all-to similar story at the start of the second half as Leafe pulled a goal back within three minutes through Greg Andrews.

The hosts then had numerous chances to level, either blocked or well saved by Gareth Williams. The best seeing him tip away Sam Clayton’s curling shot.

Horsham, however, against the run of play, restored their two-goal cushion as Cade’s touch sent Troy Williams away and, when Sheikh Ceesay could only parry his low shot, Tony Nwachukwu raced in at the far post to tuck the ball.

The hosts pulled another goal back on 72 minutes as substitute Tom Pratt bundled home after a bit of a scramble.

Horsham replacement Jamie Ampleford went close on two occasions, before they netted a fourth as Cade teed-up Kieron Tarbie, whose deflected shot went in off Jason Thompson on 83 minutes.

Leafe substitute Shawn Lyle set up a grand-stand finish two minutes from time as he touched home Tommy Smith’s ball for 4-3, but Horsham held off the hosts in a lengthy five minutes of added time.

Horsham: Williams, Jamie Hills, Gilbert, Kaffo, King, Nwachukwu, Tarbie, Napper, Williams (Smith 86), Charman (Ampleford 64), Cade. Unused subs: Woodburn, Gibson, Frankland.

Full report and plenty of reaction in Thursday’s paper.