A SECOND half brace from striker George Landais secured Horsham’s safe passage through to round three of the Brighton Charity Cup with a 2-0 win at Pagham on Tuesday night.
In a disappointing first half - perhaps understandable after two weeks without any football - Horsham’s only real chance came when defender Ian Varley had a shot from inside the box blocked close to the goal line.
The County League hosts had just shaded a poor opening 45 minutes without really threatening, and into the second half the deadlock was broken when, following good work from Dan Morris - making his first appearance since returning for the club - Landais scored from close range.
The visiting Hornets were visibly lifted by the goal and after Morris and Kery Kedze went close they found a second with a slick team move, again finished off by Landais who beat Pagham keeper James Binfield with a lovely strike high into the net.
Tony Nwachukwu enjoyed an impressive second half, tormenting Pagham’s left back Greg Robinson, who appeared to have brought down the Horsham winger just inside the box, but the referee strangely only awarded the visitors a corner.
Landais came close to completing his hat-trick with a stinging late drive which Binfield just kept out as Horsham settled for just the two.
The win was Horsham’s first in 90 minutes in all competitions since August, and a first in normal time for manager Hugo Langton. He said: “I asked the players to be professional, to be hard-working and they were tonight.
“I thought we started very well but eased off a bit in the first half, but we had a chat at half time about what they needed to do, and fair play to them they’ve gone out and done it.
“It’s pleasing because Pagham are a very good side. They’re where they are in the league for a reason, and there’s every chance they’ll go up next year.
“They’ve got some good players down here but I thought we were decent tonight. From the off we looked as though we wanted it and I thought we worked harder then Pagham and were fitter then them tonight which was key.”
Langton was also pleased with how his two strikers Morris and Landais linked up over the 90 minutes and also praised winger Tony Nwackukwu, who made his 100th appearance in a Horsham shirt despite being only 20 years old.