Horsham regained some ‘self belief’ as they secured a battling point in their relegation battle in South Premier Division 1, according to their manager Al Campbell.
Against a Bromley & Beckenham side flying high near the top of the table, who scored within 45 seconds. Horsham then scored twice and were in the lead for most of the 70 minutes.
From nowhere, Becks scored again a minute from time to share the spoils.
If failing to take all three points was in any way a defeat, it was a glorious one.
They may talk about Rourke’s Drift and they may talk about the Alamo – in the Pantheon of great defences this battle is right up there with the greats.
A point still leaves them bottom of the table, but they narrowed the gap to three points below second to bottom Henley and nine behind place-above Milton Keynes.
Bromley & Beckenham arrived looking for a win to keep promotion on track.
A goal to the good so early, victory looked an easy ask. But Horsham, with their backs to the wall, have found a real toughness over the past few games.
Without doubt Horsham are a better team when Dom Male plays. Two weeks ago he netted a hat-trick and again obliged, scoring from close range after Barney Knights-Johnson had opened Horsham’s account with a deflection off a long ball into the D.
The teams turned around with Horsham 2-1 up. With the score static with ten minutes to go, the visitors were so nervous they substituted their ‘keeper and went to an 11-man outfield.
Horsham defended heroically, no-one more so than goalkeeper Andrew Isaacs whose backline shut out 13 short corners.
Campbell went to a 4-5-1 formation to shut up shop and all was on plan when Knights-Johnson was handed a harsh card by the same umpire who gave the disputed goal the previous week.
With Horsham reduced to nine outfield players, it came down to the last minute.
A hit and hope ball was crashed into the home D, the defence that had stopped everything missed it, and the ball was tipped in.
“That was the most exciting game of hockey all season.
“The club are proud of that effort, and rightly so. The boys are rediscovering their self-belief.”
This weekend Horsham entertain Milton Keynes at Broadbridge Heath. Push back is at 12 noon.