An entertaining game at Gorings Mead saw Leatherhead twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Horsham tonight (Tuesday).
Jamie Cade put the Hornets ahead early on before Allan Tait made it 1-1 at the break, and though Gary Charman restored the hosts’ lead, Jake Hobbs scored a stunning free kick and the Tanners could have nicked all the points late on.
The Hornets could not have asked for a better start. With less then two minutes on the clock good pressure saw them win the ball in the visitors’ half, Byron Napper found Miles Mitchell on the left and his cross was inch perfect for Cade to nod home from close range.
It was the first goal Leatherhead had conceded this season after two opening wins and a draw, and they so nearly let in another on eight minute as Mitchell slammed a shot against the post after being played over the top by Napper.
Horsham had virtually controlled the opening exchanges but on 21 minutes the Tanners levelled with a piece of simple route one football. A high ball forward was flicked on Tom Bradbrook and the Hornets defence stood still as Tait latched onto it and then showed good skill to round Michael Hunter and score.
Hornets goalkeeper Hunter then had to be alert to claw away a Tait cross which looked to be dipping under his crossbar.
After that good start the hosts were giving away possession in dangerous areas as Leatherhead finished the half the stronger.
Early in the second half a poor kick from Hunter gave the ball straight to Bradbrook, and although the Tanners frontman’s shot was weak the Horsham goalkeeper and Charman seemed to get in each others way, producing a nervy moment before it was scrambled behind for a corner.
Horsham brought Billy Dunn on for Gabby Oduniake on 66 minutes, and looking to make an immediate impact he skipped past two tackles to dart in the box but going for glory he couldn’t beat goalkeeper Daren Ibrahim at his near post.
At the opposite end Bradbrook wasn’t far off target with a stinging drive from range before Horsham won a corner, which came all the way to Charman who controlled with his chest before thumping home from close range for a 2-1 lead.
The goal had come against the run of play and Leatherhead went straight back on the attack, and only a fine goal-saving defensive header from Scott Harris prevented an immediate reply.
The Tanners though didn’t take long to get back on level terms, five minutes in fact, a stunning free kick from substitute Jake Hobbs saw him find the top corner with a dipping shot which had Hunter rooted to the spot.
Dunn saw a powerful low shot turned around the post by Ibrahim, while Tait came extremely close to stealing all the points for the visitors when he poked just wide when played through in the final ten minutes
Horsham (4-3-3): Hunter; Hamilton, B King, J King, Charman; Harris, Napper, Morley; Oduniake (Dunn 66), Mitchell, Cade.