‘Pleasing performance’ sees Hornets come from behind to beat Ashford

Horsham's Jack Hartley about to score their equalising goal against Ashford United. Picture by John Lines
Horsham's Jack Hartley about to score their equalising goal against Ashford United. Picture by John Lines

Horsham fought back from a goal down to secure success away to Bostik League South Division strugglers Ashford United on Saturday.

Goals from Jack Hartley and Lewis Hyde helped the Hornets overcome their second-bottom host and end their own four-game league run without a win.

Horsham's Lewis Hyde celebrates putting his side ahead against Ashford United. Picture by John Lines

Horsham's Lewis Hyde celebrates putting his side ahead against Ashford United. Picture by John Lines

The Kent side opened the scoring on 12 minutes through Shomari Barnwell, but Horsham were level three minutes later when Hartley fired home from the edge of the box.

Dominic Di Paola’s side then went in front just before the half-hour mark when Lewis Hyde headed home.

The Hornets had a goal disallowed for offside as they saw out the second half to take the three points.

Di Paola said: “I think we played really well and I was very pleased with the performance.

“In the first half, they scored early on and the goal came out of nowhere, but fair play to the boys, they came back into it.

“They (Ashford) are no mugs now and have signed some players and are much better than when we played them in September (in a 6-0 FA Cup win). I was happy with the performance as we put on a good showing.

“Alex Duncan was out, but we almost had everyone there. We got a bit nervy once we went ahead, but I was expecting that as we had a bit of a tonking on Tuesday night.”

Horsham had the ball in the net within two minutes, but Tony Nwachukwu’s effort was ruled out for offside. It was a new-look Ashford side that led soon after when Barnwell turned on the edge of the box and fired into the corner.

The lead lasted fewer than three minutes as Joe Shelley picked out Hartley, who stepped forwards and also fired in low and into the far corner.

Hartley could have had his, and Horsham’s second five minutes later, but his shot clipped the top of the crossbar.

Horsham did lead on 27 minutes when Steve Metcalf’s deep cross picked out a towering Hyde at the back post and he nodded in his second goal in two games.

Scott Kirkwood fired just wide as did Rohdell Gorden at the other end, while Horsham were then left aggrieved by a controversial flag. A deflected Nwachukwu pass found Toby House, who put the ball into the net, but was flagged offside.

In the second half, Ira Jackson forced a parry and collect from Brannon Daly, while at the other end, Hartley and Metcalf spurned chances.

Di Paola added: “Joe Shelley had had the flu and tired a little bit, Charlie Farmer had not played a huge amount recently and tired as well - a few were like that.

“Lewis Hyde had his best game for us and Matt Axell did well in his first 90 minutes since September or August, Tony (Nwachukwu) was at his best so far and we had a strong bench.”

Horsham: Daly, Farmer, Boiling, Hyde, Metcalf, Axell, Kirkwood, Shelley,Hartley, Nwachukwu (Boswell 75), House (MacDevitt 60). Unused: Gayler, Bown, Street.