Horsham eased into the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup at a cold and wet Trafalgar Ground on Tuesday evening against a Newhaven.
Four goals up inside 25 minutes, the Hornets added a fifth after the break, but threw away a clean sheet as the hosts exposed defensive frailties to pull a couple back in the closing minutes.
Tony Nwachukwu and ever-present skipper Ashley Jones were omitted from the starting line-up although both joined the action after the break.
Alex Duncan took over the captain’s armband, Liam MacDevitt played as the central striker and Ollie Gill again took his place in the starting line-up.
The first chance fell to George Branford whose 20-yard effort was narrowly wide. But the reprieve for the Dockers was short-lived as Horsham took the lead in the ninth minute. Gill collected the ball in the penalty-area and fed MacDevitt who slipped the it past home keeper Jake Buss to notch up his second goal for the club.
At the other end, Kyle Woolven fired over after a rare slip by Dan Sackman, but the Hornets were dominating the proceedings and they doubled their lead in the 17th minute.
Tom Lawley took a quick throw to find MacDevitt who was tripped on the edge of the area as he bore down on goal. Matt Whitehead’s curling left-footed free-kick eluded everyone but was knocked over the line by a defender under pressure from Sackman.
A minute later, Whitehead passed to Branford who found the corner of the net to make it three goals in two games. And the small band of Hornets’ fans were in raptures seven minutes later as Lawley spun to fire past Buss.
Despite the scoreline the pace of the Newhaven strikeforce posed some danger, with prolific scorer Lee Robinson inevitably the focus. He eluded the defence but lost his footing as Josh Pelling closed him down before outpacing Charlie Farmer to lob over the bar.
The Horsham keeper was then called into action to save an Adam Kneller free-kick awarded for a foul by Sackman.
Within five minutes of the second the Hornets made it five. MacDevitt collected a delightful chip by Lee Carney and laid off a perfect ball for Gill to fire home from twelve yards for his first goal for the club.
Branford could have added another but Buss saved his 25-yard effort to thwart him, and Nwachukwu, who had replaced Gill, and Carney also came close.
Youngster Joe Smith was brought on for Sackman at the heart of the defence in the sixty-ninth minute and Newhaven introduced Elliott Wood and Ryan Walton to the proceedings.
As the Hornets began to tire, the hosts’ substitutes added renewed impetus to their team’s efforts and went close on a number of occasions.
With eight minutes to go, Walton made amends for a miss by heading in a cross to pull a goal back and Robinson made it 5-2 five minutes later as he converted Ben Earle’s pass, but the result was never in doubt.
Horsham: Pelling, Duncan, Metcalf, Branford, Sackman (Smith 69), Farmer (Jones 46), Carney, Whitehead, MacDevitt, Gill (Nwachukwu 56), Lawley. Unused subs: Boswell, Harris.
Newhaven: Buss, Edwards, Earle, Saunders, Murphy, Kneller, Davies (Walton 77), Taylor, Robinson, Woolven, Jallow (Wood 64). Unused Subs: Knight, Lira de Andrade, Webb-Olley.
Referee: David Spain.
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