Horsham slip down to ninth as Winchester turn on style

Horsham's Dan Humphreys practicing stopping the ball in the pre-game penalty corner preparation. Picture by Nick Evans
Horsham's Dan Humphreys practicing stopping the ball in the pre-game penalty corner preparation. Picture by Nick Evans

Horsham slipped to ninth in South Premier Division 1 as they suffered their third defeat of the season away to Winchester.

After the previous weekend’s 4-0 loss at home to top-of-the-table Old Cranleighans, Horsham were looking to bounce back against opponents situated in the middle of the table.

But lady luck was not shining on the away side as they failed to score from a number of chances in the first half and they suffered a second-half collapse conceding five goals.

Despite getting off to a good start, Winchester forced Horsham onto the back foot by winning penalty corners. All of which the Horsham defence managed to clear to keep the home side from scoring.

The pressure was raised when the away side were reduced to ten players for two minutes for a late challenge.

Once again, Horsham coped well and didn’t allow Winchester to score, goalkeeper Andrew Isaacs making a save on the line to deny Winchester from scoring what was their best chance of the half.

Horsham were not without chances of their own at the other end. They produced fast counter attacks and were unfortunate not to put the ball in the goal.

They moved as a unit and fired balls into the circle looking for deflections and winning penalty corners. Once again, they were unfortunate not to take the lead. With both teams unable to break the deadlock, the half ended with the scores level at 0-0.

Winchester were the first to score in the second half, an unfortunate own goal getting past Horsham’s defence.

This provoked a response from the away team as the ball was played in to the circle, ricocheting off a defender and bouncing in front of Sam Gill, who smashed the ball past the home side’s keeper to make the scores level once more.

But luck did not seem to go Horsham’s way, as a tackle on the baseline was penalised with a penalty corner as the ball was played over the backline. Unlike the first half, Winchester did not struggle to convert their penalty corners as they scored from their next two taking the score to 3-1.

The home side finished by scoring two more, both goal scorers receiving the ball in too much space allowing them to tap in to make sure they won the three points.

Next up on Saturday, Horsham host London Wayfarers, who sit one place above them in the league table, as they work to secure their second win of the season.