Horsham go down to the wire

HORSHAM’S survival bid in the Investec Women’s Hockey League has come down to a three-way shootout on the final day of the regular season.

A win against Ipswich in their final fixture on Saturday will guarantee Horsham escape automatic relegation from the National Leagues - and could avoid a relegation play-off if they better both Maidstone and Old Loughtonians’ results

But after last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Sevenoaks, coach Warren Gilmour insists his side cannot be concerned with results elsewhere.

He said: “We have to go for the win, and then see what happens elsewhere.

“We cannot worry about the other results. When we came back after the Christmas break we seemed to forget to play hockey because we were so worried about getting a result.”

Horsham found the going tough against promotion chasing Sevenoaks on Saturday, losing to a 31st minute Cathy Gilliat-Smith goal from a penalty corner, while failing to create anything of note themselves. In fact Horsham’s best chance came from a penalty corner scramble just seconds before they conceded. Neat build-up play counted for nothing as the match wore on, and Gilmour’s side had to accept their hopes would go down to the wire.

“Sevenoaks created their chance and took it,” Gilmour added. “We created quite a few openings but did not take any of them. That’s why we are struggling, we are making chances but are not clinical enough. Extra motivation will come in the form of memories of Ipswich’s smash and grab raid in the opening game of the season - as if it were needed.

Gilmour commented: “If we can play anywhere near as well as we have in the last few weeks we will beat Ipswich.

“If we can score early it will settle us down, there is a lot riding on it.”