A POSITIVE opening day performance in what was Justin Luchford’s first competitive game as Horsham manager was not matched by the result as much-fancied Bury Town ran out winners at Goring Mead.
After a lightning start to the game the hosts were stunned by two goals in two minutes. Russell Short half volleyed into the top corner with Bury’s first shot on target in the tenth minute and just two minutes later they scored with their second, Lee Smith firing in from Steve Smith’s cross.
Horsham though showed good resilience and five minutes before the game midfielder Callum Dunne set up Daniel Morris to mark his Hornets debut with a well-taken goal.
And Horsham were the better side after the break, winger Tony Nwachukwu caused no end of problems on either flank and had a shot saved by the legs of Town keeper Marcus Garnham.
Morris had a good chance to level things up but struck wide before substitute Roy Essandoh - who famously put Wycombe Wanderers into the FA Cup semi-final with an injury time header against Leicester back in 2001 - slotted past home stopper Matthew Armstrong-Ford on 81 minutes as Bury began their Ryman Premier campaign with three points.
Luchford said: “They’re a good side, I think they’re going to be top four or top five but I think it was encouraging to see that we competed and I don’t think anyone will go away from here thinking we won’t compete...it was three bad goals but we’ve had enough chances to be back in the game.”
The games come thick and fast for Horsham from here on in. On Monday they travel to Kingstonian before their Bank Holiday double header, away at AFC Hornchurch on Saturday then against neighbours Lewes at Gorings Mead on Monday August 29.