Damp goalless draw seens Horsham men stop the rot

Freddie Campbell put in a strong performance in midfield
Freddie Campbell put in a strong performance in midfield

Horsham’s men stopped the rot of two straight defeats with a goalless draw at home to West Hamstead on Saturday.

In atrocious conditions, the hosts spurned a number of good chances to win a largely scrappy game, but will be pleased with a good defensive display which saw them keep out the league’s top scorers.

The hosts were the better side in the first period as the heavy rain from the morning subsided for the 40 minutes.

Jack Dean forced an early short corner which saw player/coach Dom Male’s strike well saved by the visiting keeper.

Forward John Burroughs then weaved in from the right, beating a number of challenges before slipping it to Richard Blakesley, who was twice denied by the goalkeeper before Dean nearly scrambled in on the rebound.

The visitors didn’t threaten until they won two quick short corners towards the end of the half, but on both occasions Blakesley was out in a flash to block the strikes.

Minutes before half time Horsham lost Male to the sin bin for not retreating at a foul and it began a pattern of ill discipline from the hosts.

West Hamstead began the second half better, though Dean lead a lightning break from defence which forced another short corner, which was well worked to Burroughs who fired into the side netting from the left of the circle.

Home skipper Duncan Howarth became the second yellow card of the day, and Horsham survived something of a let off when the visitors had the ball in the net, but the umpired deemed the forward had controlled a cross with the back of his stick before firing past Ed Heathcock in goal.

With the rain now lashing down it became end to end, though an excellent performance from Dave Leadbitter in central defence broke up a number of Hamstead attacks.

Both Howarth and Burroughs had shots saved late on as it finished all square.