Jamie Cade scored the only goal of the game against Three Bridges for the second time this season as Horsham secured another 1-0 win over their near neighbours on Tuesday night.
Cade was the Hornets match-winner in the reverse fixture last August at Jubilee Fields and the in-form striker was at it again with a deft header in the second half which settled an entertaining encounter.
The second half was much better then the first and both sides spurned some gilt-edge chances - the visitors’ best when only a brilliant block from Jahmahl King denied Bridges midfielder Lee Carney a certain equaliser - as Gary Charman’s side complete the double over Paul Faili’s men.
Horsham had two new signings in their starting XI, Ashley Robinson making his second debut for the club and former Hastings midfielder Bruno Pacheco handed his full debut, both having joined earlier in the day.
The game’s first effort on target arrived after two minutes, a fierce strike from Ross Morley from the edge of the box which visiting ‘keeper Martin Grant had to beat away.
At the other end Hornets goalkeeper Mark Zawadski raced off his line to deny Tony Garrad as he looked to latch onto a through ball.
Horsham striker Cade has been scoring goals for fun of late, and a moment of individual brilliance so nearly saw him add to his tally. First he out-muscled Owen Roberts and then he calmly flicked the ball over the head of Bridges’ other centre back Nigel Brake, but with only the keeper to beat he send a lob just over the bar when the exquisite piece of skill deserved a goal.
Former Hornets midfielder Lee Carney’s speculative effort from distance had too much venom for home stopper Mark Zawadski, who spilled the ball but gathered in time before a lurking Bridges player could pounce.
The only other highlight of a mostly pedestrian first half arrived on 38 minutes and should have resulted in Three Brides taking a lead into the interval. Horsham were dispossessed in an attacking position and from a quick break Abu Touray’s right-wing cross landed at the feet of Matt Daniel, who should have scored from six yards but saw his shot smothered by Zawadski.
Horsham were fortunate not to go behind again soon after the restart when Zawadski seemed to drop a hanging cross, but with Elliott Romain primed to score into an empty net the referee blew up for a foul by the striker. It looked a soft decision but from there Horsham went on the attack and soon got their reward.
A neat move down the right involving Junior Kaffo, Lewis Hamilton and Cade ended with Morley firing tamely at Grant from outside the box.
But on 63 minutes the hosts did get their goal when left back Billy Joe King whipped in an inviting, inswinging free kick and Cade rose highest to glance the perfect header over Grant and into the far top corner of the net.
They so nearly doubled their lead just after when Kaffo headed a corner back across goal and it looked certain to be turned in before the ball was just hacked off the line.
After a dominant 20 minutes from Horsham the pendulum swung the other way as Bridges poured forward and twice looked destined to level.
Striker Garrard somehow skied over the crossbar when a deflected cross arrived straight to him, perhaps distracted by the attentions of his marker.
Then the home crowd held their collective breath when Carney burst into the box, played a one-two with Garrad and touched it round keeper Zawadski to leave the goal at his mercy, but as he rolled in his shot, Jahmahl King threw himself sliding across the goal to somehow deny the former Horsham man a certain equaliser.
In an end-to-end finish Morley nearly scored from a goal-mouth scramble and Elliott Romain scooped a final effort just wide as Horsham completed another 1-0 win over their near neighbours, and back to back Ryman South wins for the first time since December.
Horsham (4-5-1): Zawadski; Hamilton, B King, J King, Charman; Pacheco (Frankland 90), Robinson, Woodford, Kaffo, Morley; Cade.
Unused: Napper, Hole, Legrange, Fobi-Edusei.
Bridges (4-4-2): Grant; Djimah (Rivers 75), Leach, Roberts, Brake; Touray (Cooke 85), Daniel, Peauroux, Carney; Garrad, Romaine.
Unused: Faber, Golding.