No excuses as Hornets rise to the occasion on a tricky surface at AFC Uckfield

Southern Premier Division: Horsham v St Francis Rangers. SR1605775  Pic Steve Robards SUS-160222-115750001
Southern Premier Division: Horsham v St Francis Rangers. SR1605775 Pic Steve Robards SUS-160222-115750001

A Terry Dodd hat-trick helped Horsham keep pace in the title race as they eased past AFC Uckfield on Saturday.

Kieron Pamment also added a brace as the Hornets kept up the pace to remain two points behind leaders Eastbourne Town, who clinched a late, late win over Loxwood.

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola was pleased his players rose to the occasion of playing well on a tricky surface - something that has hindered them previously this season.

He said: “I think it was the best we have played in a while as well which was quite pleasing.

“We played with a bit of confidence and spring in our step. We played some nice football and all the goals were quite well worked.

“We got right at them. When we turned up the lads were looking at the surface, so we reminded them not to make excuses.

“We needed to do a job - although admittedly the pitch was very bad - but we got at them and into them.

“I was just beginning to curse our inability to take our chances when we scored the first goal brilliantly with some real one-touch stuff.

“We were in control and if we had taken our chances we could have won by more, but I will take five with none conceded as in the last 15 minutes after we made a few changes we got a bit sloppy.”

The visitors opened the scoring on 21 minutes as Joe Shelley took the ball down and found Darren Boswell, who slipped in Terry Dodd and he made no mistake as he put the ball past James Firman to open the scoring.

Within sixty seconds an Adam Hunt shot had strike the bar and after a missed chance by Scott Taylor at the other end, Horsham doubled their lead. Shelley’s shot from outside the box was well saved, but parried only into the path of Pamment who knocked home the rebound.

Two minutes later, Horsham scored again when Shelley headed Hunt’s free-kick into the path of Dodd, who nodded home from close range at the far post.

Uckfield went close just before half-time with a dangerous free-kick into the box that was headed towards goal but Drew Greenall’s slice on the turn took the ball away from goal.

Three minutes into the second half, Hunt’s cross was hit on the half-volley by Dodd in the box for a fine finish as he completed his treble.

Greenall’s shot from distance struck the post and as Andy Whittingham attempted to force home the rebound his effort was well saved by James Shaw, while Dodd had an effort cleared off the line by Joe Miller.

Pamment, however, did make it five on 74 minutes as Ryan Storrie cushioned down a Charlie Farmer ball forwards and the winger beat two defenders and finished.

Horsham: Shaw, Storrie, Jones, Farmer, Knee, Pamment, Shelley, Keehan, Hunt (Lewis), Boswell, Dodd (Smith). Subs: Duncan, Atkinson.

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