Horsham 1-1 Faversham Town: Hornets earn a deserved point

Tony Nwachukwu netted for the Hornets
Tony Nwachukwu netted for the Hornets

Horsham battled their way to a deserved point in their first home match at Gorings Mead in two months.

Coming up against strong opponents in Faversham Town, last year’s play-off finalists who are again riding high this season, the Hornets responded well to going behind within two minutes.

Tony Nwachukwu poked home a first half equaliser, and both sides missed chances to take all three points in a competitive, entertaining game.

Assistant manager Rob Frankland and Ian Varley took charge of the Hornets, with manager Gary Charman watching from the stands, serving a one-match suspension for his sending off at Chipstead.

New captain Scott Harris led the side out in front of an attendance of just 94, Horsham’s lowest gate of the season.

And Faversham got off to a flying start, finding the net within 120 seconds of kick-off.

Aidan Sherlock had too much time to float a ball into the box and he picked out Jack Harris, who was allowed to turn and steer a low shot past new goalkeeper Mark Zawadski and into the bottom corner.

Horsham initially appeared rattled but their nerves began to settle and they were level after ten minutes.

Harris produced a great delivery from a free kick, and Faversham keeper Simon Overland spilt the ball under pressure from Jahmahl King.

Jamie Cade fired the loose ball towards goal and it was flicked in at the back post by Nwachukwu, who glanced over his shoulder to see the linesman keeping his flag down.

Both sides enjoyed good spells of possession in the first half, but it was the visitors from Kent creating more chances.

The energetic Ollie Bankole ran around Billy-Joe King and fired a low shot that was gathered by Zawadski.

The goalkeeper, returning to Horsham following his release by Bognor Regis Town, then showcased his talent with a spectacular reflex save to deny Bankole.

The Hornets were giving as good as they got, Junior Kaffo laying off Ross Morley whose low shot was smothered by Overland.

After such an open 45 minutes, it was perhaps a surprise that the game’s defining moment arrived within ten minutes of the restart.

Cade flicked the ball into the path of Nwachukwu, who drove towards goal and pulled back a cross straight to the unmarked Kaffo.

The striker, one of Horsham’s better performers on the evening, seemed to have eternity to set himself up for a shot - but though he seemed certain to score, the ball rebounded off the inside of the post.

The Gorings Mead surface had not shown any signs of the recent wet weather, but it began to deteriorate in the second half and chances became less common.

Horsham’s lack of match practice was beginning to show, though Byron Napper came close when his long range effort flew wide.

In the 87th minute, Faversham won a throw in deep in Horsham territory and immediately made a substitution, sending on Aaron Lacy.

Lacy’s huge throw caught Zawadski and the Horsham defence off guard - ultimately coming off the crossbar and being knocked in by Brendon Cass - but, ironically, the linesman deemed it a foul throw. The goal was disallowed and Horsham collected a well-deserved point.

Horsham: Zawadski, Hamilton, B. King, Harris (Hole 79), J. King, Woodburn, Napper, Morley, Kaffo, Cade, Nwachukwu.