Controversial penalty ruins Horsham’s end of season party

Horsham player/manager Gary Charman. Picture by John Lines
Horsham player/manager Gary Charman. Picture by John Lines

Horsham FC fans dressed for Christmas for the final league match - but there was to be no end of season present as hosts Merstham took the points.

Fabio Saraiva was once again the Horsham party-pooper with his second half penalty securing all three points for the hosts on Saturday.

The striker, who had scored the only goal when the sides met at Gorings Mead earlier in the season, netted from the spot on 63 minutes after Jahmahl King was adjudged to have fouled Omar Folkes.

The Hornets enjoyed the better of the first half but failed to trouble the home goalkeeper after the break to the disappointment of the travelling supporters, who brought a splash of colour to Weldon Way dressed in an array of Christmas themes.

Despite the victory Merstham came up just short in their bid to sneak into the play-off places, while Horsham ended a mixed campaign in 16th position.

Gary Charman, back in the side after missing the previous two games with suspension, forced a good save from home ‘keeper Brannon Daly before the Hornets’ player/manager headed a King cross over.

Both sides then had half chances in a goalless first half.

The second half belonged almost entirely to the hosts and only some wasteful finishing and good saves from Hornets stopper Mark Zawadski kept them at bay. That was until King’s challenge on Folkes handed Saraiva the chance to score the game’s only goal.

Horsham: Zawadski; Marriott (Woodburn 67), Hamilton, King, Woodford; Harris, Morley, Napper (Death 79), Robinson, Charman (Legrange 61), Cade.