Horsham eye up a play-off push

GOAL-MACHINE Mark Ansell could be set to the return to the Horsham hockey side as their bid for a South League play-off place gathers momentum.

Kent Sussex Regional

GOAL-MACHINE Mark Ansell could be set to the return to the Horsham side as their bid for a play-off place gathers momentum.

A 5-2 win against bottom side Kings & Alleynes on Saturday means John Burroughs’ side are five points adrift of Sutton Valence, who occupy the sole play-off place behind leaders Marden Russets, and with many of the league’s big guns to face in the run-in, Ansell’s return, along with that of the experienced Ian Brown, could give Horsham a boost.

“We have five games left and if we win them all we may end up challenging, so we need to get the goal difference up.

“We may get Mark coming back in for us at the weekend,” Burroughs said. “He has scored hundreds of goals for the club. If we are going to compete we need some quality.”

Horsham didn’t make it easy for themselves against Kings, who have improved in recent weeks but still prop the division up.

In fact two quick-fire goals, one after a poor clearance, put Kings in control at half time. But Horsham refused to panic and hauled themselves back into the match after the break. Matt Hough converted two short corners to get the home side back on level terms, and when skipper Burroughs pounced on a rebound Horsham led 3-2.

Duncan Howarth then stepped up to deflect home two short corners and a dominant Horsham went on to rattle the frame of the goal four times.

Burroughs added: “We were a little bit short and we are going through a difficult patch in terms of availability.

“It is still in our hands. We will see what happens and take each game as it comes.

“If we can stay in it until the last day of the season I would take that every day of the week.”

Finishing in the top two would cap a good season for Horsham, whose seconds are on course for glory in Sussex Division 1 and third team are looking towards promotion from Sussex Division 2.