Horsham men edged out in top of table clash

Tom Anguige won a penalty flick to give Horsham hope of a comeback

Tom Anguige won a penalty flick to give Horsham hope of a comeback

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A run of three straight league wins came to an end for the Horsham men in a narrow defeat away at league leaders Old Cranleighans.

Against a very strong home side Horsham trailed 2-0 at half-time but gave themselves hope thanks to a Duncan Howarth penalty flick. OCs though hung on to move seven points clear of Horsham, who were knocked down to third place.

Visiting Horsham went behind to an early goal and conceded a second shortly after when one of their own efforts came back out of the goal off the inside of the post.

Going into the second period trailing 2-0, Horsham were all over OCs and the pressure told when Anguige earned a penalty stroke following a clumsy tackle by the home goalkeeper.

Despite delaying tactics by the OC ‘keeper, Horsham skip Howarth remained composed and converted the penalty to give Horsham hope with 15 minutes to go.

The home team defended heroically, and with no 50/50 umpiring decisions favouring the away side, OCs managed to hold on in what was a hugely important game for both sides.

A win for Horsham would have brought them within a point of the league leaders, but as it happened, OCs move seven points clear and Horsham moved back into third place.

Captain Howarth said: “It wasn’t our greatest performance, but OCs are a good side and we came close to earning a point.

“With London Edwardians moving up to second in the league, our home fixture against them on Saturday couldn’t be more timely or more important.”