Horsham won an eight-goal thriller at Broadbridge Heath on Saturday to leap to the top of Division 2 in the South Premier League.
Losing at half-time, the home side looked to be a team under pressure but a composed, if muscular performance in the second half, where all the forwards found the net, saw them run out worthy 5-3 winners of a game that included seven yellow cards.
The visitors set a rapid pace from the off, putting the Horsham defence under pressure and, after seven minutes, a defensive error saw the home side’s goalline breached after a defensive fumble.
Within three minutes the deficit was redressed when Jack Dean pounced on the rebound from a short corner to continue his fine early season goal scoring record.
A further defensive error saw the visitors ahead 2-1 at the turnaround. A rare hospital pass by Horsham player-coach Dom Male then gifted the opposition a third goal.
While at the other end, it wasn’t that the Horsham forwards were not creating chances, they simply couldn’t find the back of the net.
Eventually, the Horsham pressure told when a through pass from Male was deflected in by John Burroughs.
With Horsham on top, West Hampstead’s tackling became ragged and yellow cards ensued. With the visitors down to 10 and then nine men, Horsham manager Al Campbell subbed a defender for an extra forward and Cirdec Atkinson dived to convert a Joe Humphreys’ cross.
Noah Chinn took his turn to score giving Horsham a 4-3 lead. The hosts then started losing men to yellow cards, but a nine-man defence stood firm until skipper Duncan Howarth sealed the match with a breakaway strike.
Campbell said: “We never lost our composure and always thought we could win. It was a great game of hockey to watch and an even better one to win.”
The team now sit on top on goal difference and travel to Trojans, who have yet to score a point,on Saturday.