A Billy Medlock double sealed Horsham’s safe passage to the Ryman League Cup Third Round with last night’s 2-1 defeat of Walton & Hersham.
It was a great start for the Hornets who went in front after just 40 seconds when Medlock clipped home a cool finish after Wayne Clarke’s burst into the box. But they had Michael Hunter for preserving the lead on eight minutes when he saved from Dave Lawrence who sprung the offside trap from a Dan Dean pass.
Walton held a high line and Jamie Ampleford almost took advantage after quarter of an hour when released by Abs Bolaji, the youngster was denied by Sheikh Ceesay’s save at close quarters.
The visitors played some enterprising football at times, and forced a number of first half corners
Walton had plenty of cutting edge themselves, and Graeme Purdy headed narrowly wide before Phil Williams blazed well over from range. The visitors were getting closer though and Hunter produced a miraculous save to tip Gregory Ngeno’s header on to the bar from point blank range.
Medlock then took advantage of that let off five minutes before the break, lashing home the what is fast becoming one of his trademark free kicks to double the lead from 20 yards.
But the two goal lead lasted just seconds, when Ngeno made no mistake this time with a thumping header from Jerome Maldeon’s deep free kick.
Walton made a sprightly start to the second half, and after Purdy had a goal chalked-off for offside, Williams’ shot was well held by Hunter.
Simon Colbran’s men weathered that storm though, and Charlie Farmer saw his header fly just the wrong side of the post. Medlock almost had his hat-trick on the hour mark after more good work from Clarke, but his low effort just clipped the post.
At the other end, Hunter was it again, to deny Purdy with a sharp double save, although the Walton man will feel he should have done better.
The Hornets held out comfortably for the remainder, as the match ended on a low-key note after Walton’s Dean was carried off with a suspected broken leg.
Horsham: Michael Hunter, James Brockhurst, Charlie Farmer, Matt Simpson, Tom Gilbert (Billy-Joe King 64), Brendan Cullen (Hutchings 45), Eddie Koboah, Abs Bolaji (Ryan Marriott 57), Jamie Ampleford, Billy Medlock, Wayne Clarke.