East Grinstead Town’s three match winning run was comprehensively ended by a Horsham side inspired by the introduction of Tony Nwachukwu on the hour.
It came at a point when the Wasps were in control of the game and threatening a breakthrough, but within five minutes Nwachukwu, found by a long ball out of defence, had chipped beautifully over Chris Haigh to open the scoring. The Hornets never looked back.
After a generally unspectacular first half, marred by an early injury to Wasps striker Travis Gregory which saw him carried off, the match finally came to life after the interval. Town’s Tash-Jay Kwanie, who had provided much of the goal threat in the first period, carried on where he’d left off.
First he fired past the upright, and then brought a save from Josh Pelling which was followed quickly by a piledriver from substitute Jack Howlett. Pelling was beaten, but the ball struck the inside of the upright and bounced back into play, allowing Horsham to scramble it away.
Horsham almost immediately made their change, and Nwachukwu began to stretch the Wasps defence, which soon caved in under his pressure. It took until four minutes from the end for
The Hornets to add their second and again it was Nwachukwu, put through by a ball from Ollie Gill which allowed him to outpace the home defence before getting a bit of good fortune, the ball rebounding off keeper Haigh before hitting the onrushing striker and bouncing into the net.
The third came in the final minute of normal time, a sweet strike from Scott Kirkwood flying into the net from twenty yards despite the best efforts of Haigh, sending the away faithful home happy with their team up to twelfth place.
Hornets boss Dominic Di Paola was delighted with the three points, but also a little relieved. He said: “We rode our luck at times, but we thought we’d introduce Tony as we felt his pace would stretch them, and it worked well.
"I’m really happy with the clean sheet, too; we haven’t had enough of those recently but although we had a few scares we looked fairly solid for most of the game- a vast improvement on our last league match against Cray Wanderers.”
He was also effusive in his praise for the East Grinstead “youngsters,” taking time to particularly single out Kwanie, who he felt would be “a big talent in the future.”
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