Harding’s happy Horsham return

Pat Harding scoring for Burgess Hill
Pat Harding scoring for Burgess Hill

Pat Harding says he is relishing his first return to face former side Horsham on Saturday.

The striker will line up in Hillians’ starting XI for the Sussex derby, and although he’ll be going all out to make it a miserable day for his former club, he says he has only fond memories from his time there.

Hornets fans will remember his prolific 2009/10 season while under former boss John Maggs, where he netted more than 30 goals while the club were still in the Ryman Premier.

“To be honest I only have good things to say about my time at Horsham,” said Harding, who left for Whitehawk before joining the Hillians last season.

“I had a good first season where I scored quite a few goals, and although I wasn’t quite as successful the next season I really enjoyed my time there. The people behind the scenes are nice people and the fans were great.

“Hopefully Burgess Hill will get a result on the day but in general I wish them well.”

Harding has been in good goal-scoring form for Ian Chapman’s side, helping them edge up the Ryman South table, and they go into today’s meeting on an eight-game unbeaten run in the league.

“If I score I won’t over exaggerate my celebrations and it’ll be the same if we win because Horsham is one of my favourite ex clubs,” Harding added.

Tony Nwachukwu could be in the squad having been out since September with a knee injury, but both the Ryans, Woodford (foot) and Marriott (ankle) are struggling to be fit after knocks last weekend.

Horsham will be going all out to prove Saturday’s heavy defeat against high-flying Dulwich was just a blip, and get back to the form which saw them take ten points from a possible 12 prior to that loss.

Hornets boss Simon Colbran said: “It’s going to be tough, I know Ian Chapman really well and his players will be fully committed.

“My players are looking forward to it too, they relish these derbies and they’ll be really fired up.”

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