HORSHAM Ladies fired themselves back into the title race with a superb 4-0 win over long-time leaders Chelmsford at Broadbridge Heath.
Ellen Seaniger put them ahead at just the right time on the stroke of half-time and after withstanding some heavy pressure a second for the impressive midfielder, sandwiched between short corner goals from Steph Dent and Jessie Dean made it comfortable in the end.
Coach Warren Gilmore said: “We probably kept our composure better then them because the first-half was pretty even before we scored and we had to withstand a lot of pressure for the first ten minutes of the second-half.
“When they didn’t score they seemed to fall apart a bit and bicker a bit between themselves while we only got stronger.”
Both sides had spells of possession in a closely fought first period. Home defender Joy How made a crucial last-ditch intervention to stop a certain goal while at the other end skipper Zeph Fisher couldn’t connect with Seaniger’s pass when well placed in the D.
The visitors pressured with a couple of short corners before the momentum switched and Fran Crossley came so close, smashing a shot back off the inside of the post.
Right on the whistle Horsham went ahead, Seaniger rode a challenge to break into the D and she kept her composure to fire into the bottom corner.
Chelsmford started the second half the better and fashioned some chances, though How and Amanda Hilsden stayed firm at the back to deny the visitors a way back into the match.
The important second goal came when Crossley’s straight strike from a short corner was saved by the keeper only for the on hand Dent to slot in the rebound, and Seaniger capped a fine individual performance with a similar goal to her first.
“This was only her second game back since rejoining us and she gives us a great option and makes a big difference to us,” Gilmore said of the Australian who has just finished the hockey season over there and last played for Horsham two seasons ago.
The icing on the cake was provided via a sweet strike from Dean, who picked her spot from inside the D following another short corner routine.
The win leaves Horsham just a point behind Chelsmford in fourth and seven away from leaders Sevenoaks, but with all the big sides meeting over the next few weeks Gilmore believes they still have a chance of the title.
“Chelmsford were leading for a long time and now they’ve dropped back so it’s still all to play for,” he said. “We need to win these crucial games but anything is realistic.”