Horsham team manager Al Campbell stressed it was a case of job done as Horsham ground out a 3-2 victory at Eastbourne to maintain their promotion push.
The close win saw Horsham’s promotion challenge role on, although elsewhere Tulse Hill’s 6-1 victory saw them claw back second spot in Division 2 of the South Premier on the narrowest of margins.
The teams stand equal on points and goal difference but the South Londoners have scored one more goal. Horsham however have a game in hand.
In a contest that saw Eastbourne repeatedly yellow-carded and finish the game with only nine men, on a bumpy pitch that caused repeated mistakes and turn-overs, Duncan Howarth’s men did well to keep their composure and scrap out three more points on their visit to the seaside.
In general, Eastbourne were not a threat in the Horsham D although, as at Broadbridge Heath, they scored first when the defence missed a tackle at a short corner.
Horsham also struggled in attack and missed a series of short corners of their own when substitutions meant the acknowledged flickers were on the bench.
However, in somewhat fortunate circumstances defender Ollie Yeomans, deputising as short corner injector, finally forced the equaliser into the Eastbourne net from a goalmouth melee just before the half-time whistle.
With the set piece ‘A team’ back in play, Horsham fared better and, when Freddie Campbell skilfully won yet another corner, Matt Hough duly obliged.
Moments later Cirdec Atkinson’s corner flick ricocheted off the home keeper’s pads and Howarth followed up.
Four minutes from the end Eastbourne hit back from the penalty spot, leading to a frantic and clumsy close to the match.
Horsham manager Campbell said: “After the champagne hockey we played last week against Marlow this was most definitely not a game for purists.
“However we came here to do a job and the job was duly done.
“Next week we entertain Holcombe who, like us, are unbeaten this year. It will be another tough one.”
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