A much-improved Horsham were somewhat unlucky not to come away from their home match with Faversham with anything as the search for a first win in 2013 goes on.
An early Jordan Clarke penalty - his first for the club - was cancelled out by first half goals from Dan Lawrence and Lyndon Rowland, although a new-look Horsham will take heart from a committed display against the league’s in-form side.
Simon Colbran gave home debuts to Karl Akehurst and Trevor McGreadie, with recent signings Jordan Clarke on the left and Jahmal King in defence.
It was a strong start from the hosts, and after Jordan Clarke has seen a half volley from a corner just tipped over the crossbar Horsham took a ninth minute lead from the penalty spot.
A brilliant turn by midfielder Ryan Marriott got him away from his man and he then beat another charging towards goal. He slipped Clarke in on the left as he burst into the box he was felled by Aiden Sherlock. Calls for a straight red for the right back were waved away by the referee who brandished yellow, and Clarke sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot for his first Horsham goal.
The Lilywhites were back level however just two minutes later when Toby Ashmore sent a great defence-splitting ball through the middle and despite Horsham keeper Michael Hunter getting a hand to Dan Lawrence’s shot it looped up over him and into the net for 1-1.
Horsham then had strong shouts for a penalty waved away when Clarke’s cross seemed to strike Sherlock’s arm inside the box.
The in-form visitors, who came into the game having lost just one of their last 13 games, suddenly stepped up a gear and Renford Tenyue only just fired wide of the near post.
The Kent side did go ahead on 33 minutes thanks to a big helping hand from their hosts. Lawrence was allowed to run a long way into the box, ghosting past some nonexistent challenges and his effort was spilled by Hunter allowing Lyndon Rowland to score on the follow-up.
And in a strong finish to the half for the visitors Darren Marsden fizzed a shot from 20 yards against the outside of Hunter’s post.
Hornets boss Simon Colbran brought striker Aaron Scott for Eddie Koboah and switched to 4-4-2, and the changes saw the hosts again come out strong.
Marsden curled wide early on with the Horsham defence waiting for an offside decision which never came, but at the other end Karl Akehurst saw a swerving, dipping free kick from 25 yards clatter back off the crossbar.
From there a rejuvenated Horsham continued to push for the equalising goal without really threatening Simon Overland’s goal, while Faversham created the better chances on the counter.
Faversham left back Jamie Maxted nearly caught Hunter off his line, Lawrence went close with a 20 yards free kick, Kieran Oliver volleyed over from Tenyue’s cross and in added time Hunter saved well from number ten Oliver.
Horsham (4-4-1-1): Hunter; Brockhurst (Farmer 35), B King, J King, Woodburn; Akehurst, Koboah (Scott 45), Harris (Ampleford 84), Clarke; Marriott; McCreadie.