Horsham remained in second place in Division 2 of the South Premier as their old heads overcame Eastbourne’s young legs on Saturday.
The home side had scored early goals in their last two starts, but it was Eastbourne who made the better impression in the opening exchanges and put the Horsham defence under pressure with their slick passing game.
However, a revised Horsham starting line-up saw coach Dom Male in the team and John Burroughs in midfield.
With regulars Freddie Campbell and Dave Leadbitter as the backbone of the team the defence held firm.
The visitors were never going to keep up such a frantic pace and, as they took their foot off the gas, Horsham countered.
With their first real attack, Burroughs showed he can attack as well as he defends and neatly netted from four yards with 15 minutes on the clock.
Eastbourne regrouped but another Horsham counter attack found Jack Dean close to goal to divert in for Horsham’s second slightly before half-time.
In the second half, for the third week in a row, Horsham found themselves in a game where the umpires were being assessed and the game became totally disjointed through a large number of fouls being called, which stopped the game from having any sort of flow.
Horsham incurred so many seemingly random cards that after the game coach Male told the County Times he was considering writing to the league to express his concerns.
Manager Al Campbell supported his view and said: “Players on both sides are getting frustrated because they’re no longer sure how umpires are interpreting the rules – it’s hard for them to approach their own game with confidence.
“However, we’re happy to take three points and a clean sheet and the defensive performance of young players like Dan Humphries showed the team is still progressing.”
Next week, Horsham visit Marlow where the game will hopefully be more free-flowing.
The following week, they Banbury before a three-week break over the Christmas period.