Horsham 0, Guernsey 0: Hornets held as Green Lions pick up rare away point

Horsham FC. Tom Lawley. Pic Steve Robards SR1626347 SUS-160913-134103001
Horsham FC. Tom Lawley. Pic Steve Robards SR1626347 SUS-160913-134103001

Horsham had to settle from a home draw as Guernsey managed to pick up just their third away point of the season at Gorings Mead this afternoon.

The Green Lions had not won away from home all season and managed just their third draw on the road in their Ryman League South Division campaign.

The Hornets meanwhile went into the game in fine form with 10 points from a possible 12, but they were held in a match which lacked any real distinct quality in the final third.

And when those moments did occur, both goalkeepers were in fine form with Jordan Kelly and Josh Pelling pulling off point-preserving saves in the second half.

The Hornets named an unchanged line-up from the one that won at Lewes, while Adam Hunt returned from his lengthy injury lay-off to make the bench.

The visitors made use of their link-up with Championship side Bristol City by handing a debut to 19-year-old Cameron Pring.

The home side started well as Darren Boswell’s cross was spilt by Kelly and hooked clear, but it was recycled to Scott Kirkwood and his deflected shot from the edge of the box looped onto the roof of the net.

Boswell continued to cause problems on the left with Green Lions centre-back Jamie Dodd crucially clearing.

At the other end, a sweeping move was put wide by Dave Rihoy, while moments later the same player volleyed off target.

The hosts should have led 1-0 on 22 minutes as Alex Duncan’s teasing ball across the box was missed by George Branford and Gaskin, while Boswell arriving right on the byline could not get enough on it.

Moments later, a Gaskin dummy put in Tom Lawley on the edge of the box and his lobbed, curled effort went just over.

The Channel Islanders’ best chances came on the half-hour mark as Thomas de le Mare poked through to Jake Andrews, but when one-one-on, Pelling saved with his feet from 12 yards.

Four minutes later, Guernsey’s on-loan Bristol man Andrews forced a diving save from Pelling as his free-kick looked to curl into the top corner.

Back at the other end, the Hornets’ finishing touch again eluded them despite more good build-up as Boswell couldn’t get on the end of Branford’s searching low cross.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Andrews’ searching effort from range required Pelling to be alert from the edge of his box and get enough on the ball to turn it wide.

It was more of the same in the second half as some promising build-up play came to nothing with some real indecision in the final third.

The hosts should have led on 66 minutes, but for a superb save from Pelling as substitute Paris Pereira raced away on the right and teed up Andrews ten yards out, but Pelling made himself big and blocked away the first-time effort with his legs.

Tiago Andrade came off the bench as Horsham switched to two up front and soon after a well-worked move saw Lawley curl at Kelly.

With just four minutes, Kelly made a superb diving one-handed save to get away Lawley’s shot on the turn which came through a plethora of bodies in the box.

Horsham had some late pressure to see off as Pringle’s header went just over and Thomas Dodd’s shot was comfortably held by Pelling.

Guernsey then had Angus Mckay sent off in added time as neat stuff from substitute Ollie Gill flicked in Gaskin, who was bundled over just outside the box by the centre-back, who was last man.

The resulting free kick from Gill floated just over and the final moments played out without further incident as Guernsey registered their first clean away clean sheet since December 2015.

Horsham: Pelling, Duncan, Jones, Hyde, Farmer, Lawley, Kirkwood (Gill 81), Branford, Harris, Boswell (Andrade 72), Gaskin. Unused: Hunt, Sackman.

Guernsey: Kelly, Geall (Black 70), Steel, Dodd, Pring, Rihoy, Dodds, Mackay, de la Mare (Pereira 63), Andrews, Loaring (Legg 81). Unused subs: Gauvain.

Referee: Steven Hughes.

Attendance: 262.

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