Horsham 1 Herne Bay 2: Hornets’ unbeaten run ended despite Nwachukwu’s wonder-goal

Action from Horsham's 2-1 defeat to Herne Bay. Picture by John Lines
Action from Horsham's 2-1 defeat to Herne Bay. Picture by John Lines

Horsham missed a chance to gain four successive wins when they fell 2-1 at home to Herne Bay.

Hornets had the better chances in the first half but Herne Bay took the lead in the 54th minute with a headed goal by their captain Junior Aikhionbare.

For a picture gallery of John Line’s action shots, click link above

The Kent side made it 2-0 just four minutes later when Horsham’s Steve Metcalf scored an own goal while trying to clear an attack.

Horsham showed fought by pulling a goal back just a minute later from a blockbuster shot hit powerfully into the net by Tony Nwachukwu.

Hornets went close in the final stages but overall did not impose themselves enough in the second half as they slipped to their third defeat of the season against the same side.

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola made just once change to the side which won 2-0 at Whyteleafe last week with Josh Street preferred to Darren Boswell who was on the bench having been ill in the run-up to the match.

There was no-one hurt or ruled out by the car crash and breakdown affecting two cars carrying players to Tuesday night’s postponed game at Pagham.

However Liam MacDevitt, who was in one of the three-car shunt in London, has left the club to join Bostik League South rivals Chipstead while Matt Boiling has returned from his loan back to Worthing.

Although Herne Bay started well with some good possession, Horsham had the ball in the back of the net in only the eighth minute when Toby House met Jack Hartley’s cross, only for the referee to disallow for offside.

Metcalf went close too soon afterwards as he headed downward a ball crossed from a free-kick by Scott Kirkwood which opposing ‘keeper Ben Hunter got down low to save.

Herne Bay created two chances to score before half-time as Danny Leonard drove powerfully wide from outside the penalty area after good work by skipper Junior Aikhionbare.

Josh Wisson headed over the bar for the visitors from a free-kick awarded just outside the area by Nissam Dukali following a challenge by Metcalf.

Herne Bay took the lead nine minutes into the second half from a set-piece as Aikhionbare headed in Tom Carlton’s free-kick.

It looked like the visitors had done enough to win the game four minutes later when Horsham’s Metcalf scored an own goal under pressure.

However Hornets fought back immediately with a powerful strike by Nwachukwu just one minute later from just outside the area which kept low before flying into the net.

The Bay put Hornets on the back foot in search of a third goal when Leonard ran in and hit a shot low which Hunter got down to stop.

The unfortunate Metcalf nearly scored his second own goal of the match when trying to clear a ball from being headed by an opponent, he nodded the ball against the net.

Substitute Dean Bown was in a great position to equalise but stumbled as he was shooting and the ball went off-target.

Bown’s composure let him down again in injury-time with a last-ditch shot which was aimed straight at Hunter with the whole goal to aim at.

Horsham: Pelling, Hyde, Hartley, Shelley, Nwachukwu, Kirkwood (capt), House (Bown 68), Adelakun (Axell 68), Street (Gayler 82), Harris, Metcalf

Unused subs: Farmer, Boswell

Herne Bay: Hunter, Ismail, Steventon (Rumbol 90), Gorham, Wisson, Leonard, Schafer, Carlton, Embery (Pulman 88), Aikhionbare (capt), Dukali (Myers 90)

Unused subs: Richardson, Brown

Referee: Michael Ryan

Atteandance: 173