Honours even as Horsham and Hillians draw a thriller

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Horsham got their first point of the season in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Burgess Hill at Gorings Mead tonight.

Hillians continued their unbeaten start to the campaign as they twice came from behind to take at point on the road.

Goals from Jamie Cade and Tony Nwachukwu either side of a Rob O’Toole equaliser gave Horsham a 2-1 lead at half-time, before the visitors levelled early in the second half through Pat Harding.

It was an end-to-end encounter in the first half with Horsham taking an early ninth-minute lead as Cade fired a goalbound effort at Josh James, and with the goalkeeper only able to parry, the striker smashed home at the second attempt.

Hillians’ O’Toole had a couple of good chances before he levelled on 18 minutes as he tapped home a squared ball into an empty net.

Gareth Williams then made a couple of smart stops and Tom Gilbert hooked one off the line as Hillians piled on the pressure.

But Horsham responded and Max Miller had two efforts blocked before they went back ahead on 45 minutes.

Good work by Billy Dunn saw him deliver across goal and Miller fired back in to Nwachukwu, who turned home.

Hill, however, levelled immediately after the break as Harding was allowed time in the area to bring down a cross and stroke past Williams from ten yards.

The game slowed up in the second half and a succession of Hillians’ corners were well defended, before, on 76 minutes, Horsham were denied by a good stop by James.

Miller raced away down the right and pulled a low ball back to Cade, but he was denied by a superb reflex save from the stopper.

In a controversial end, Hillians Scott Kirkwood escaped with just yellow card with six minutes left as he swung at the ball with Nwachukwu on floor and caught the Horsham man.

It sparked a furious reaction from the Horsham bench, players and fans who couldn’t believe the referee had only showed a yellow card.

A scrappy final few minutes played out as both teams settled for a point.

Horsham: Williams, Hamilton (Gibson 60), Kaffo, Gilbert, King, Morley, Tarbie, Nwachukwu, Miller, Dunn, Cade. Unused subs: Smith, Frankland, Hills, Bingham.

Burgess Hill: James, Watts, Pearson, Miles, Fisk, Kirkwood (Gore 86), Budd, Keehan (Smith 44), O’Toole (Perry 77), P.Harding, Luer. Unused subs: Pointing, L.Harding, Gore. Attd: 218.