Rogers hits a hat-trick in Horsham victory at Chatham

Alfie Rogers in action for former side Haywards Heath Town last year. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj SUS-160210-212011001
Alfie Rogers in action for former side Haywards Heath Town last year. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj SUS-160210-212011001

A sublime hat-trick from 17-year-old Alfie Rogers helped Horsham ease past Ryman League South Division strugglers Chatham Town.

The youngster netted twice in the first half and completed his hat-trick eight minutes from time to add to a Freeman Rogers own goal as the Hornets clinched a 4-1 victory in Kent.

The win means Horsham have taken seven point from their last three games and remain 14th in the table.

Manager Dominic Di Paola, who missed Saturday’s game, was pleased with the feedback and said: “I think, with all due respect to Chatham, they are probably not the best team we will play, but it was nice to get another win.

“That’s the second in Kent for us, so Horsham will be pleased about that after such a long run of bad results there.

“It also puts us further along with the target of points we are trying to achieve this season.”

On Alfie Rogers’ contribution, Di Paola added: “By all accounts he played quite well and seems to be improving all the time. I hope it stands him in good stead for when he plays against some of the better teams in the league.

“It’s all good for him and James Thurgar, our other youngster, played well as well. It’s both going well for them.”

Chatham almost led within a minute as Leonardo Mazzone put over from six yards from a Ade Batula cross.

From Horsham’s first attack, they then led as Thurgar’s free kick was headed home by Rogers from four yards on ten minutes.

Josh Pelling tipped over a Ricky Freeman header at the back post, before Chatham levelled a minute later as Ash Jones’ clearance went straight to Batula and he levelled the scores.

Nwachukwu put wide, before Rogers doubled the lead on 34 minutes as Alfie Rogers connected with Thurgar’s corner to put Horsham 2-0 up.

Batula couldn’t capitalise on a chance in the box, before Darren Boswell found Nwachukwu, who was denied by Alex Hyde’s leg.

Three minutes into the second half an ambitious effort by Boswell saw him flash a volley wide, while at the other end, Mazzone’s chipped attempt went wide.

Freeman Rogers then managed to slice a cross backwards into his own net on 53 minutes to put Horsham fully in control. Pelling denied Freeman Rogers after the ball fell to him from a corner, before Batula also fired wide.

Alfie Rogers sealed his hat-trick eight minutes from time thanks to a great run by Nwachukwu, who picked out his team-mate to finish.

Ricky Freeman’s then saw red for a rash challenge on Boswell and Chatham coach Simon Halsey was also dismissed from the dugout for his protests.

Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf, Farmer, Jones (Robinson 83), Hunt, Boswell, Kirkwood, Thurgar (Wright 78), Hassan (Smith 73), Rogers, Nwachukwu.