Peacehaven 5-5 Horsham: Late goal denies Hornets in ten-goal thriller

Jamie Cade is challenged by Tom Lawley in the wet - pictures by John Lines
Jamie Cade is challenged by Tom Lawley in the wet - pictures by John Lines

A remarkable game at the Sports Ground last night saw Horsham come from three goals down to lead 5-4 before a dramatic last-gasp equaliser denied them all three points in a ten-goal thriller with Peacehaven.

When The Hornets fell 4-1 behind early in the second half they looked dead and buried - that after taking an early lead through Billy Dunn.

But the visitors bravely turned it around with a second from Dunn and further goals from Charlie Farmer, Jamie Cade and Gabby Odunaike to dramatically lead, only for Peacehaven to equalise with the last kick as the pulsating contest ended 5-5.

Hornets boss Simon Colbran had called for a better start than in previous games and they got just that with the opening goal after only four minutes.

A lovely move saw Miles Mitchell dart in from the right and thread a ball inside the full-back for Gabby Odunaike and his pull-back was swept through a crowd of bodies by Dunn.

The hosts responded with the equaliser only three minutes later - the start of a nightmare spell for the Horsham defence. Visiting stopper Michael Hunter sliced a backpass out for a corner, and when it was played in Jamie Brotherton made a determined leap to head in at the second attempt.

Brotherton so nearly signed for Horsham before joining the newly promoted Tye to the anger of his ex manager Colbran, and the former Worthing man struck another dagger by putting the hosts ahead in the 11th minute from another defensive lapse.

A poor pass from Charlie Farmer across his own box only found Brotherton, who charged forward and saw his deflected shot off wrong foot Hunter and put the hosts 2-1 up.

The lively start continued when Billy-Joe King sent a super high ball over the defence to meet Dunn’s run and his ball across was only just behind Odunaike, who looked set to score.

Former Hornet Brotherton twice came so close to completing his hat-trick against his former club from two free kicks in an identical position, rattling the crossbar with the first and then only just missing the same top corner.

Peacehaven finished the half the stronger and after seeing a penalty shout turned down Brotherton smashed an effort over before they did go 3-1 up before the break. A deep cross into the box was only half cleared and Josh Jones pounced with an angled drive into the far corner.

A bad situation got even worse at the start of the second half when the hosts scored another with their first attack. A poor defensive header from Charman under little pressure only found another former Hornet Trevor McCreadie, who burst forward and miscued his shot straight to Jones to score his second on the slide at the back post.

Even when Horsham were awarded a penalty soon after for a nudge on Cade and Dunn stroked home from 12 yards to reduced the deficit to 4-2, there seemed no real way back for Colbran’s side.

And only two fine saves from Hunter kept them in the match - first beating away a fierce half volley from sub Karley Akehurst and then producing an even better stop to deny Brotherton from close range.

Hope was restored though when defender Farmer scored from close range after Charman’s header from a corner hit a defender on the line.

And soon after Horsham drew level when striker Cade burst through the home defence and beat Anthony Di Bernardo with a cute finish.

Now roared on by the travelling supporters it was Horsham with all the momentum, and to the disbelief of everyone watching they went and scored again when Dunn cleverly squared the ball across goal and Odunaike was on hand to give them an unlikely 5-4 lead.

It was turning into one of the most remarkable comebacks in Ryman League history, but there was still five minutes for Peacehaven to pepper the visiting box with a spate of corners which saw goalkeeper Di Bernardo race up from goal for.

And there was one final twist in the tale when, in the 94th minute a deep free kick pinged about in the box before landing at the feet of Tom Lawley, who drilled through a crowd of defenders to break Horsham hearts and send the home support into delirium.

Horsham: Hunter; Mitchell, B King, Farmer, Charman; Napper, Harris, Morley (Marriott 62); Dunn, Odunaike, Cade.