Horsham edge seven-goal thriller to advance past Heybridge Swifts in FA Cup

Horsham's Rob O'Toole. Picture by John Lines
Horsham's Rob O'Toole. Picture by John Lines

Horsham sealed their place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup as they edged a seven-goal thriller with Heybridge Swifts this afternoon.

The Hornets came from 2-0 down to overcome their Bostik League North Division visitors in a 4-3 victory at Culver Road.

Chris Smith got the winner with just six minutes to play to help the Hornets pocket a cool £9,000 prize money and place in the next round.

Swifts took the lead in the sixth minute through George Craddock's low and deflected finish and made it 2-0 eight minutes later when Alejandro Seoane-Barbe finished from a corner.

Steve Metcalf made it 2-1 on 19 minutes, before Joe Shelley headed home an equaliser before half-time.

The visitors led again just after the hour mark. Moments after Horsham had penalty appeals waved away, Nick Brown's deflected strike beat Josh Pelling.

With 15 minutes remaining, Horsham were level once again as debutant Harvey Sparks teed up Rob O'Toole who slide in from three yards to make it 3-3.

Then with six minutes to play, Smith forced home a rebound following a save from the visiting goalkeeper.

Heybridge finished the game with nine men after they had a man sent-off for dissent late on.

See full report and reaction in Thursday's West Sussex County Times.