Crawley Down Gatwick 1 Horsham 1

Trevor McCreadie
Trevor McCreadie

Horsham kept themselves four points above the relegation place when they earned an encouraging 1-1 draw at local rivals Crawley Down Gatwick.

Hornets conceded a goal after just one minute at the hands of Down’s Fraser Logan but an equaliser just before half-time by Trevor McCreadie with his second goal in successive games made for an exciting second half.

They staged a fine recovery and even threatened to clinch what would have been a well-worked victory.

Following their demoralising 4-1 home defeat on New Year’s Day, it took only 65 seconds for the Anvils to take the lead through their skipper Logan with a first-time left-footed shot following a cut inside from the left flank by Miles Mitchell.

Horsham wasted no time in beginning their fightback as on 10 minutes and with only the keeper to beat, Billy Dunn was denied by goalkeeper Tony Di Bernardo.

Anvils’ striker Luke Blewden teed up Gaby Odunaike for a potential second goal but he was prevented from getting a shot off through quick work from stopper Michael Hunter who grabbed from his feet.

Hornets’ skipper Gary Charman showed his usual leadership quality at the back when he headed clear from a Blewden cross.

Horsham then went in search of an equaliser and they began to pressurise the home penalty area, first as Tony Nwachukwu saw a cross intercepted by Jack Page in the Down central defence and then Trevor McCreadie was kept out when the ball fell for him, by the in-form Di Bernardo.

Horsham’s attacking players showed much more desire to go forward and have a go than when I had watched them earlier in the season McCreadie went forward but couldn’t connect with a cross from the left, then on another occasion Dunn volleyed well wide.

Ryan Marriott struck a free-kick in front of goal over the wall but straight into the keeper’s welcoming arms.

Then in the 43rd minute Horsham’s attacking forays and midfield possession were rewarded with a goal expertly headed in by McCreadie from a cross in from the right by Nwachukwu.

Horsham continued in the same vein in the second half as they went in search of a second goal. Dunn hit the post from a tight angle and on the rebound Marriott saw his follow-up shot turned around for a good save by Di Bernardo.

Nwachukwu was replaced by Jordon Clarke, taken off as a precaution after tweeking his troublesome hamstring and Charlie Farmer came on for Billy Joe King, again for an injury which led to a lengthy period of added time.

Marriott saw another of his drives tipped over the bar in a second half which petered out before Horsham cranked up the pressure again in the closing stages.

McCreadie carved out three more scoring chances in the last few minutes as Horsham made all the running. He showed confidence and willingness to take opponents on as he lifted one over the bar, glanced another attempt wide with a header and after a nice turn fired a third well over the crossbar.

Finally substitute Jamie Ampleford saw another effort turned around for a corner as the visitors finished well on top.

Horsham: Michael Hunter, Matt Simpson, Billy Joe King (Charlie Farmer 85), Jahmahl King, Gary Charman, Karley Akehurst, Tony Nwachukwu (Jordon Clarke 63), Scott Harris, Billy Dunn (Jamie Ampleford 90), Trevor McCreadie, Ryan Marriott. Unused subs: James Brockhurst, Eddie Koboah

Attendance; 169

Man of the Match: Trevor McCreadie