HORSHAM will enter 2012 six points adrift at the bottom of the Ryman Premier table after a disheartening 4-1 home defeat to Leatherhead on Boxing Day.
After encouraging displays in narrow defeats at Canvey Island and Carshalton, there was very little for a strong Gorings Mead crowd of 372 to be encouraged about against Horsham’s nearest rivals in the table.
New signing George Landais scored on his debut to equalise after Kev Terry had put The Tanners ahead, but Horsham were only level for a minute as Vernon Francis smashed home a corner.
Horsham missed a great chance to level and Leatherhead immediately netted a third, some further dreadful defending allowed Billy Manners to stroll in from the left to score, and in an uninspiring second half the game’s best player Tommy Hutchings deservedly got on the scoresheet with the visitor’s fourth.
A dejected Horsham boss Hugo Langton said: “That hurt me personally, for reasons that I don’t need to go into. The thing that’s annoyed me is the last two games we’ve been defensively outstanding, and the first 45 minutes today we weren’t, and you can’t expect to win games of football (like that).
“Three awful goals, absolutely poor and fair play to Leatherhead they’ve took their chances.
“Attacking wise I thought we looked lively, we need a bit more work but I wasn’t happy defensively. Teams of mine don’t defend like that, you get the basics right and we didn’t.
“I think some of them were still eating their Christmas dinner, unfortunately, or had one eye on still enjoying their family celebrations yesterday.
“I don’t mean people have been drinking, but it’s easy to be comfortable and relaxed and one of the problems is we’ve got young players, so it’s their first taste of Non-League Boxing Day football. It’s one of the highlights of the year to look forward to but I’m not sure we got that.”