The town’s bragging rights went Horsham’s way as they overcame their landlords Horsham YMCA 4-1 at Gorings Mead this afternoon.
The festive derby in the Southern Combination League Premier Division saw a bumper crowd of 676 enjoy a thrilling first half in which the damage was done.
An early own goal from YM goalkeeper Mark Fox set the tone as a Joe Shelly stunner and Mark Knee free-kick after another keeping error gave the Hornets a 3-0 lead at the break.
YM also had defender Dean Carden sent off late in the first half for a second booking to kill any hopes of a comeback as Horsham added a further goal from Boswell in the second period, before YMCA got a late consolation through Nick Sullivan.
It took just 60 seconds for the hosts to take the lead as Mark Knee whipped a free-kick across the area from the right and Fox inexplicably punched into his own net.
Obviously unsettled by his early howler the YM keeper then fumbled, but collected a cross from the right to plenty of jeers from the ‘home’ supporters.
The landlords responded well with a few probes into the Hornets box, but were repelled and the next chances was at the other end when Boswell laid into Terry Dodd, who hit wide on the turn.
Horsham captain Shelley then crashed a goal-of-the-season contender as he crashed into the far top corner from fully 40 yards after the ball fell to him on 13 minutes.
It got worse for YM , who could be forgiven for looking shell-shocked after a somewhat unfortunate two goals, ten minutes later as Knee free-kick, again from 40 yards, was allowed to bounce in the box and popped up over Fox and into the back of the net.
Dan Sullivan continued to try and work forwards for YM down the right and he put away Luke Donaldson, whose cross stung the palms for debutant stopper James Shaw.
A dire day then got worse for YM as left-back Carden was shown a harsh second yellow for a clumsy challenge on Kieron Pamment 30 yards from goal.
YMCA tried to stem the flow at the break as Dan Evans replaced Donaldson and they had decent penalty shouts waved away on 52 minutes as Dave Brown went down under a Alex Duncan challenge in the box.
Within a minute, Horsham had added a fourth as Boswell curled home beautifully into the top right from the left of the box.
Fox pulled off a good stop to deny Pamment on 64 minutes as he brought down a ball from the right and flicked over the last defender, but the YM stopper got down to deflect his shot wide.
YM’s best chance fell to midfielder Luke Gedling, but his hopes of pulling a goal back were thwarted by a solid stop by Shaw, he was also on hand to turn away a corner from the YM man which looked to be dropping under the bar.
In truth in was a fairly dull second period as Horsham closed out the game and YM tired from the extra running after being reduced to ten men in the first half.
They did get a late consolation as Phil Johnson slipped in Nick Sullivan and he simply skipped past the onrushing Shaw and poked into an empty net on 88 minutes.
Horsham: Shaw, Duncan, Jones (Lewis 53), Farmer, Knee, Pamment, Martin, Shelley, Hunt, Boswell (Rowe-Hurst 65), Dodd (Archibald 75). Unused subs: Charles, Atkinson.
Horsham YMCA: Fox, D.Sullivan, Gathern, Dugdale, Carden, Donaldson (Evans 45), Hibbert, Gedling, Brown, Johnson, N.Sullivan. Unused subs: Crane, Wright, Wood, O’Carroll.