This was something of a historic day. At the sixth attempt in four years, Horsham finally managed to beat Banbury.
They did so with some ease, at the same time taking pressure off their South Premier Division 1 relegation fight and jumping to eighth place in the league table as results elsewhere went their way.
With Horsham tenth and Banbury 11th in the division, this six-pointer was always set to be a cagey game.
Horsham had the better of the first half but the teams turned around at 0-0. However, within three minutes of the restart, Horsham scored twice and it was virtually all over bar the shouting.
Ellis Wooley who netted a famous hat-trick at Havant last week was pivotal in both goals.
The first was spectacular as skipper Andy Isaacs in the home goal launched one of his trademark 60 metre toe punts and, with the sun in his eyes, the Banbury back made a complete ricket of trapping it.
Wooley knew what was coming, made no such mistake, controlled the ball and drew the keeper before slipping a pass to John Burroughs, who had run 50 metres to get behind the defence. With all the time in the world, and an open goal before him, Burroughs tapped in.
Two minutes later, a shaky Banbury backline fouled in the D and the visiting keeper could only parry Wooley’s drag flick onto the stick of Freddie Campbell, who forced home. This was centre-half Campbell’s fifth goal of the season, four of them scored in similar fashion.
Horsham were still pressing hard when Banbury scored a breakaway goal. With 10 minutes remaining manager Al Campbell focused his team’s minds firmly back on defence, changed the formation to 4-4-2 and Horsham comfortably closed the game out.
Team manager Campbell said: “The team agenda for this month is fight-back February and this was a really disciplined performance.
“Nobody was sin-binned and we only gave away two short corners. Our defence is the best in the bottom half of the division and, whilst points are vital, it’s such a tight year that goal difference may count.”
Horsham’s plight to beat the drop was also helped with London Edwardians’ 10-0 demolition of basement boys Guildford, while third-from-bottom London Wayfarers lost 2-1 at home to Bromley & Beckenham.
This weekend, Horsham travel to Oxford Hawks.