Horsham 1, Deal Town 2: Hornets exit FA Cup in replay defeat

Hassocks v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards. SR1518177 SUS-151008-130718001
Hassocks v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards. SR1518177 SUS-151008-130718001

Horsham exited the FA Cup as they suffered a 2-1 defeat against Deal Town in their preliminary round replay this afternoon.

A poor first-half display saw the Hornets 2-0 down at half-time and despite an onslaught after the break they failed to find an equaliser in a half that saw two red cards and a missed penalty as well as a Kieron Pamment goal.

The two sides met just two days after drawing 1-1 in the game at Deal and the hosts looked sluggish at the back during an error-strewn first 45 minutes.

Horsham started the brighter and put Deal under early pressure as Pamment fired over after a jinking run forwards.

But the visitors took the lead against the run of play on seven minutes as Charlie Walsh intercepted a Kev Keehan pass and put the ball out wide to Connor Coyne, who slid it back to Walsh and he put through Gareth Williams’ legs.

Town almost benefitted from another gift on 20 minutes as Keehan failed to clear on the edge of the box and Walsh took the ball, but Williams’ strong dive parried the ball out.

Moments later, another error saw two Horsham players compete for the same ball and Ryan Philpott took advantage to chip the ball out to Coyne, but he smashed wide when well placed.

At the other end, a Pamment corner was tipped onto the post, before the visitors did add a second on 28 minutes as Ryan Storrie gifted the ball away on the right and a clipped ball to the far post found Philpott, who dispatched past Williams.

Horsham had the ball in the net after an off-the-ball incident as Terry Dodd headed home a Mark Knee free kick from an offside position and it was ruled out.

The hosts were then lucky to finish the half with 11 men as Liam Hark took out Scott Murfin as the last man, but the referee must have justified the 35-yard distance from goal as a reason to only produce a yellow card.

Shaun Charles replaced Mark Knee at half-time, but while Horsham continued to knock the ball around nicely, the better chances fell to Deal as Williams made a decent stop and Coyne then fired wide after a corner.

On 53 minutes, Joe Shelley, Murfin and Pamment linked up well with the latter firing straight at Chris Whymark. Five minutes later, Horsham were awarded a seemingly soft penalty as Walsh was penalised for some infringement at a corner.

Shelley’s effort was evenly match by Whymark, who dived to his left and pushed the spot-kick around the post.

The hosts did pull one back on 64 minutes after great work by Charles on the right saw him put away Bradley Lewis, whose deep cross was fired home by Pamment at the back post.

It was all Horsham after that as Pamment, Ash Jones and Murfin all had efforts well saved and a Shelley header was cleared off the line after a barrage of corners.

The best chance fell to Dodd on 76 minutes as Shelley’s defence-splitting pass saw him spring the offside trap, but his left-foot toe-poked effort went just wide of the far post.

Keehan then received a ridiculously harsh straight red for a mistimed tackle on Luke Bigginton, who conned the inexperienced officials with his reaction, while Town’s Andy Miller then was shown a second yellow for a foul on Murfin three minutes later.

The Hornets asked all the questions in the closing stages, but ultimately ran out of time to grab an equaliser.

Horsham: Williams, Storrie (Hunt 77), Jones, Clark, Knee (Charles 45), Keehan, Shelley, Lewis (O’Hagan 88), Pamment, Murfin, Dodd. Unused subs: Chadwick, Duncan, Hadi, Boswell.

Deal: Whymark, Hark, Hill (Short 12), Scott, Dickens, Philpott, Gregory (Biggington 61), Walsh, Smith, Miller, Coyne. Unused subs: Scarpong, Tanner, Ashman.

Attendance: 241.