Ladies hockey: Cup heartache for Horsham Firsts while Seconds cause upset

Steph Dent celebrates her opening goal for Horsham before Holcombe struck back
Steph Dent celebrates her opening goal for Horsham before Holcombe struck back

League defeat was followed by cup heartache for Horsham Ladies Hockey 1sts in a double header which left skipper Hannah Simpson pleased with the side’s progress.

On Saturday the side hosted top of the table Holcombe 1sts in the league, where despite playing positively and creating good opportunities Horsham were beaten 5-1.

On Sunday the side played Sevenoaks in the EHL Cup, where a quick start put Horsham two goals up before Sevenoaks scored three on the counter to lead 3-2 at the break.

Horsham had the majority of the second half play and at the end of the match it was all-square at 4-4, meaning it went straight to penalty strokes where Sevenoaks ran out 5-4 winners.

Still Skipper Simpson said: “The game felt like a win in the way in which we played together as a team. We’re looking forward to the game against Wimbledon.”

Putting aside several injury concerns, Horsham Ladies Seconds upset the odds with a gutsy 3-0 win away at Southampton Firsts.

With only 12 players available captain Fran Crossley called on her troops to give it their all, and clearly heeding those words Horsham withstood a physical barrage to hold firm in defence and launch breakaway attacks.

Emily Jones netted Horsham’s first, dribbling around two defenders and slotting home from Becca McDowell’s cross.

Jones then returned the favour to McDowell, who drove into the circle and beat the keeper with a reverse shot.

Southampton upped the pressure in the second half but they were choked by strong marking and tackles from the visitors, and Horsham finished the game off when player of the match Sophie Jones was hacked down and from the resulting short corner Crossley flicked in a third goal.