It was third time lucky for this Sussex derby between Horsham and Crawley Down Gatwick at Gorings Mead where the hosts took advantage to earn their second league win in four days.
With the Ryman South fixture having succumbed first to a waterlogged pitch and then abandoned after 47 minutes because of heavy fog, this time the full 90 minutes went ahead and though Billy Dunn’s early goal settled it the Hornets were well worth all three points against their depleted near-neighbours.
There was both heavy rain before the match and fog during it, though not enough to seriously threaten another cancellation and Horsham played the difficult conditions better with attacker Dunn’s fourth goal in two games enough for victory.
Hornets player/manager Gary Charman named the same starting XI who had ripped apart Guernsey at the weekend.
Dunn bagged a fine hat-trick in that surprise 6-2 win and the attacker took just nine minutes to get on the scoresheet again. Anvils centre back Max Hurstwick gave the ball straight to him on the edge of the box and Dunn gratefully accepted the gift, lashing home a low strike which took a slight deflection en route to finding the bottom corner.
Four minutes later the hosts nearly had a second but right-back Lewis Hamilton’s first-time volley from a corner hit team-mate Jamie Cade on the line and flew over.
The Anvils were largely looking to hit their hosts on the break but failed to test home keeper Michael Hunter in the first half, while at the other end Hamilton’s in-swinging cross just evaded both Cade and Billy Joe King.
Crawley Down did have the ball in the net just before the break but George Cousins’ lob was ruled out for offside, saving goalkeeper Hunter’s blushes for mistakenly calling for the defence to leave it for him to clear.
And on the stroke of half-time Dunn was denied a second by Anvils goalkeeper Stuart Robinson tipping over.
Charman withdrew himself at half-time with a side strain and took his place in the home dug-out, his replacement Jahmahl King slotting straight into the heart of the defence.
It took 13 minutes of the second half for a shot on target, left back Billy Joe King’s drive pushed round the post by Robinson.
A spate of free kicks and bookings - four in total for Crawley Down and one for Horsham - disrupted the rhythm of the match with deteriorating conditions hardly helping.
The first real moment of quality in the half arrived in the 72nd minute when Cade slipped Tony Nwachukwu through the middle but dogged by a defender he shot wide of goal.
Man of the match Cade didn’t stop running leading the attack on his own and he forced Robinson into a low save as the hosts continued to search for the killer second goal.
In the second minute of stoppage time Dunn went on another of his mazy runs but having done the hard work he blazed well wide from inside the box.
The visiting Anvils, missing a number of players battled manfully until the end, though midfielder Charlie Holness’s long-range effort over the crossbar mid-way through the second half was their only shot at goal all game as they continue to struggle for league form.
Horsham meanwhile are beginning to look up, this their second league win ending a nine game winless run.
Horsham (4-5-1): Hunter; B King, Hamilton, Charman (J King 45), Woodburn; Dunn, Nwachukwu (Frankland 90), Harris, Napper, Kaffo (Fobi-Edusei 85); Cade. Unused: Blaney.
Anvils (4-4-1-1): Robinson; Ozga, Lewis, Somner, Hurstwick; Elson, Cousins, Holness, Bold; Holloway; Beckford. Unused: Beaujean, Thorp.