Horsham 0-0 Worthing: Stalemate provides Horsham with another valuable point

Gary Charman has been excellent since returning from injury
Gary Charman has been excellent since returning from injury

The anticipated derby-day fireworks failed to materialise - although a 0-0 Easter Monday draw with Worthing provided Horsham with another valuable point in their quest for survival.

And following the win over Whitstable and draw with Crawley Down on Saturday, five points in little under a week has lifted some of the dark clouds beginning to circle.

But with Three Bridges again winning (3-1 over Crawley Down) and the Walton derby finishing 2-2 Simon Colbran’s side are far from safe with six matches remaining.

In truth it was a drab contest which saw both defences on top, although Horsham perhaps should have won it when Matt Simpson put a free header wide deep into the match.

The sun even made a rare appearance, although the bitingly cold wind remained, and that, as well as an unusually firm Gorings Mead pitch probably added to the lack of quality throughout.

The in-form Trevor McCreadie just failed to get onto Jordan Clarke’s lofted ball over, and the striker could have added to his two goals in two matches when he then failed to control Ray Freeman’s through ball.

Billy Medlock looked determined to add to his impressive goal tally in his first outing against his old club, and both he and fellow former Hornet Jamie Brotherton both fizzed effort just past the post from outside the box.

And a poor first half ended with Billy Dunne beating a defender and delivering a dangerous ball across the six yard box which neither McCreadie or Freeman could get on the end of.

Both sides fared marginally better after the break. Scott Kirkwood forced a fine diving save from home keeper Michael Hunter while at the opposite end Karly Akehurst flashed a 30 yard drive only inches wide.

The Horsham defence was doing an excellent job in keeping Medlock and co quiet, with perhaps the pick of the back four, Matt Simpson twice throwing himself into important blocks.

The closest the visitors came was Steve Metcalf’s curler which beat Hunter but not the top of the bar, capping a brighter start to the second half for the visiting Rebels.

Horsham though improved and after the excellent Gary Charman nearly got on the end of a long free kick into the box, the hosts’ big chance arrived.

Freeman, on his first appearance since rejoining the club, cut onto his left foot and from the right found the perfect cross to pick out Simpson, who unmarked seven yards out glanced his header wide of the far post when he should have scored.

Coming six minutes before the end it would no doubt have proved the winner, although going three unbeaten and claiming another clean sheet was decent consolation.

Horsham: (4-4-2) Hunter; Simpson, Farmer, King, Charman; Freeman, Clarke, Akehurst, Harris; McCreadie, Dunn (Ampleford 70).