Hornets ‘buzzing’ ahead of Hillians derby

Ryan Marriott has impressed since his return. Photo John Lines

Ryan Marriott has impressed since his return. Photo John Lines

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Looking ahead to Saturday’s local derby against Burgess Hill, Horsham manager Simon Colbran admits his team are “full of confidence” after an encouraging start to the season, writes Warren Lucy.

Horsham, who booked their place in the next round of the FA Cup in midweek - a 5-2 victory over South Park - lost both games against the weekend’s opponents last season; 1-0 at home and a 4-1 away defeat. Their last victory over the Hillians was in the Sussex Senior Cup in 2011, where they won a replay 3-1.

A buoyant Colbran said: “We’re eight unbeaten, we’ve only lost one in 11 so going into the new season we’d have bitten your hand off for those statistics.

“Going into Burgess Hill we’re obviously full of confidence but they are as well, they had a good win on Saturday in the FA Cup, we had them watched.

“They’re a decent side, we know a lot about them and I know Ian Chapman, the manager, and he’s 100 per cent committed, and his players will be on Saturday.”

Horsham this week welcomed back two former players, winger Kerry Kedze and defender Tom Graves, a member of the team who famously took Swansea to an FA Cup replay in Round Two in 2007.

Kedze has been brought in to bolster the attacking options with Tony Nwachukwu missing for six weeks with work commitments, while Graves will be back up in central defence with Glenn Woodburn still injured and Matt Simpson now gone.

The Hillians have had a solid start to their Ryman Division One South campaign and sit in 15th, eight places below the Hornets.

Speaking about Burgess Hill’s double over Horsham last season, Colbran says those results are in the past and forgotten about: “I don’t look at history, I look at the present and we’re full of confidence, we’re buzzing and all the players can’t wait for Saturday already. We’re going to take the game on. Whatever’s happened in the past it doesn’t mean a thing.”

Derby matches are always full blooded affairs, however, Colbran insisted: “We go into every game 100 per cent committed. I don’t care who we’re playing, if it’s the FA Cup, Trophy or league game it doesn’t matter, we’ll go there to win it. We treat every game like a derby so this one won’t be any different.”

Attacker Gabby Odunaike could return from injury and both right back Lewis Hamilton and forward Billy Dunn came through the midweek game unscathed so should be in the squad.

Kick-off is 3pm at Gorings Mead and under-16s go free.