Nwachukwu goal helps Horsham to FA Trophy triumph

JPCT 120914 S14390723x Football, FA Cup - Horsham v Kingstonian -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 120914 S14390723x Football, FA Cup - Horsham v Kingstonian -photo by Steve Cobb

Tony Nwachukwu celebrated his new contract by sending Horsham into the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy this afternoon.

The winger’s second-half header was enough to see them overcome Ryman League North Division side Ware 1-0 in the first qualifying round.

It capped a fine week for the home-grown talent after he signed a contract at the club just days ago.

In a game of limited chances the winner came ten minutes after break from a superb cross by substitute Ryan Marriott.

Goalkeeper Gareth Williams was then on hand to pull off a fine diving save to deny Kieron Bishop and help secure Horsham a place in next week’s draw and the £2,700 prize money.

The visitors rattled the woodwork after just six minutes as Albert Adu played a neat one-two with Finbarr Robins and riffled a shot onto the underside of the bar from the edge of the box which bounced out.

Gary Charman then glanced a header over the bar from Troy Williams’ near-post corner three minutes later.

After the early attempts, chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half as both sides lacked a killer ball in the final third.

Adu headed a simple take at Gareth Williams after a left-wing cross, while at the other end Troy Williams curled an effort wide after a promising looking-break between him and Jamie Ampleford.

On 32 minutes, Gareth Williams make a good block to shut out Kieron Bishop from close range at the near post.

Ware’s Gareth Madden was booked for taking out Harry Smith on the edge of the box on 40 minutes and Charman curled the resulting kick at goalkeeper Rhys Madden.

Horsham defended well for a five-minute spell after the break and then introduced Marriott for the injured Smith and he soon made the difference.

A lovely whipped ball to the far post from deep was met by Nwachukwu and despite Rhys Madden getting a hand to the winger’s header, it ended up in the top corner.

On 67 minutes, Gareth Williams made a superb one-handed save to claw away Kieron Bishop’s curling effort that look destined for the top corner.

It came after some sustained pressure for the visitors, while Horsham slow the clear their lines, but the stopper, who was partially unsighted was equal to the looping shot.

Farzad Bidgood replaced Troy Williams to come on for his debut and should have done better with a low cross from the left which he scooped high and wide.

The Hornets were then happy to soak up the pressure with Charman, Tom Gilbert, Billy-Joe King and Ade Akande all defending stoutly. Charman in particular with a number of towering clearances.

Gareth Williams was alert late on to clear up a number of long balls as Ware pumped the ball forwards looking for an equaliser, while substitute Rheo Josephs wasted a golden chance in injury-time as he fired into the side netting as the hosts held out.

Horsham: Williams, Akande, Gilbert, Charman, King, Nwachukwu, Napper, Morley, Smith (Marriott 51), Williams (Bidgood 70), Ampleford. Unused subs: Frankland, Varley, Hawthorne.

Ware: R.Madden, Florence (Jospehs 45), G.Madden, Shehu, White, Ledula (Osie 67), Adu, Kazim Bishop, Robins (Ware 59), Karagul, Kieron Bishop. Unused subs: Coower, Osie, Wade.