Below-par Hornets happy to settle for fortunate point against East Grinstead

Horsham FC v East Grinstead FC. Horsham's first goal . Pic Steve Robards  SR1701420 SUS-170130-144853001
Horsham FC v East Grinstead FC. Horsham's first goal . Pic Steve Robards SR1701420 SUS-170130-144853001

Horsham were happy to settle for a point despite not being at their best against East Grinstead on Saturday.

The 1-1 draw extended the Hornets’ unbeaten Ryman League South Division run to eight matches as Marcus Elliott grabbed the visitors a deserved point late on.

Horsham FC v East Grinstead FC. Pic Steve Robards  SR1701453 SUS-170130-145128001

Horsham FC v East Grinstead FC. Pic Steve Robards SR1701453 SUS-170130-145128001

His close-range header eight minutes from time struck out Charlie Farmer’s seventh-minute opener at Gorings Mead.

The hosts were grateful to goalkeeper Josh Pelling for keeping out an Elliott penalty, midway through the first half, with the forward also having a goal ruled out for offside.

Assistant manager Adam Westwood took charge of the side with Dominic Di Paola away, but the Hornets boss was happy to keep their unbeaten run going, despite not hearing all positive feedback from the clash.

He said: “By all accounts, we were not great, but to be fair we were missing a few and had to make a couple of changes.

Horsham FC v East Grinstead FC. Horsham penalty save first half. Pic Steve Robards  SR1701435 SUS-170130-145019001

Horsham FC v East Grinstead FC. Horsham penalty save first half. Pic Steve Robards SR1701435 SUS-170130-145019001

“Adam Hunt came on at half-time as Jordan Clark had to come off injured and he has not played in a year.

“East Grinstead played well and were pretty decent, so we will take a point. If they had beaten us, they would have got closer to us in the table, so that’s a positive.

“We were not as our best, but cannot always play well and have been playing well recently.”

With Alex Duncan and Scott Kikwood not avilable, Tony Nwachukwu, Lewis Hyde and Steve Metcalf were all restored to the starting 11, with Adam Hunt returning to the bench.

The Wasps had been beaten 3-0 by Horsham in October and came into the match in 19th place.

The hosts led on seven minutes as Metcalf’s pass found Farmer, who took a touch before hitting a left-footed shot into the bottom far corner.

On 23 minutes, Ash Jones was adjudged the have hauled Tashi Kwayie to the floor and referee Matthew Lee pointed to the spot, but Elliott’s poor effort was saved by Pelling.

Kwayie had a header blocked away on the line, while Pelling also closed down a Dan Hogan attempt.

Grinstead thought they had levelled five minutes before the break as the ball deflected into the path of Elliott, who fired home, but the flag went up despite the ball coming off a Horsham player.

In the second half, Horsham lacked a spark up front while the troublesome Elliott was again denied by Pelling.

At the other end, Tom Lawley then overran the ball from a good position as the sides exchanged chances.

As the clocked ticked down, Travis Gregory sent over a right-wing cross, Elliott planted a firm header past Pelling which, this time, he was powerless to keep out.

Elliott had a further chance that Pelling was equal to and that Leo Mazzon put the rebound wide. Horsham might have snatched the win at the death when Alfie Rogers effort was blocked on the goalline.

Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf, Farmer, Jones, Hyde, Nwachukwu, Harris, Branford, Clark, Boswell, Lawley. Subs: Hunt, Rogers, Gill.