Young Hornets sting Worthing to reach County Cup semis

Andrew Roberts kept his cool to win it for Horsham
Andrew Roberts kept his cool to win it for Horsham

Horsham under-18s hosted Worthing in the last eight of the County Cup looking to avenge their 4-0 defeat earlier in the season.

Horsham were without Callum Nash, Jack Manton, Stanley Rice and Anthony Jupp but welcomed back Jordan Walser, who started at centre back.

On a muddy and sticky pitch the game was always going to be a close affair with neither side able to take control or keep the ball in the early stages.

The first real clear-cut chance came when some neat passing down the Horsham left found Andrew Roberts, whose cut back was met by Will Kerr who could only blaze over the bar from the just inside the area.

Both teams continued to try and play football and The Hornets created the next opportunity when some neat one-touch passing between the midfield trio of Connor Cushing, Kerr and Roberts, led to Roberts sliding through Jake Legrange, who rounded the keeper only to see his effort turned away off the line by the recovering defender.

Kerr again troubled the Worthing ‘keeper when his effort from the edge of the area was well gathered from just under the bar.

Horsham then came under a little pressure before the break as Worthing improved when a corner was only half cleared to the edge of the area and smashed back in only to rattle bar with Ross Cusdin rooted to the spot. Still the ball wasn’t properly cleared and a low strike was sent in and turned home by an offside striker much to Horsham’s relief.

The Hornets began the second half sharply when Legrange beat his defender only for his left-footed strike to fly the wrong side of the post. Neither side were really able to create any really clear-cut chances as the turf continued to cut up with the rain not helping.

Both defences were solid until a lapse in concentration in the Horsham backline allowed the Worthing forward to scamper through one-on-one with Cusdin, only for him to blaze over the bar when it was easier to score.

This encouraged The Hornets to maintain their focus and push on and they got their reward in the 82nd minute when a superb Jake Waller cross caused confusion and from a scramble Roberts kept his composure to slam the ball into the back of the net.

Worthing threw everything they had at the Horsham backline but they were able to hold firm and run down the clock to seal their place in the semi-finals against Bognor or Roffey.

Horsham under-18s are also going well in the league and beat Eastbourne Town 7-0 days before to extend their winning run.

Horsham: Cusdin, Wicking, Collier, Wasler, Garman, Cushing, Roberts, Hole, Waller, Legrange, Kerr. Unused: Frankland, Belton, Skett, Blaney.