A MATT Hough hat-trick eased the pain of last week’s disappointing defeat to BBHC as Horsham bounced back with a 3-0 win at Sevenoaks.
Against a Sevenoaks side who play in a similar way to their visitors, Horsham had to show patience after being denied on several occasions by an in-form home goalkeeper, before Hough showed his goal-scoring prowess in the second half.
Horsham skipper John Burroughs said: “We were much better on Saturday then the week before. Sevenoaks are a better side then their league position suggest, they’re a young side like us who try to play good, expansive hockey and we seem to suite playing teams like these.
“We didn’t train for a number of reasons and I think that actually helped, we were really fresh and up for the game.”
Both sides enjoyed good spells in a fairly even first half, though it was the visitors who enjoyed the more clear-cut chances. Drag flicker Hough forced the first in a number of great saves from the Sevenoaks number 1 from a short corner and right at the end of the half captain Burroughs missed a great chance to put his side ahead when Duncan Howarth’s good run and cross found him well placed in front of the Sevenoaks goal.
It was much the same in the second half, but Horsham remained patient and got their reward with around 15 minutes to go. Burroughs received a pass from Freddie Campbell, skipped past a couple of challenges and into the Sevenoaks D, where he found Hough who put the visitors ahead with a cool finish.
1-0 quickly became 2-0 as Sevenoaks’ resistance was finally broken. A Horsham short corner didn’t quite go to plan, but after some rather scrappy play the ball broke to Hough at the top of the D and on the reverse he again found the net.
And before the final whistle Hough capped another fine performance with his third, this one an inventive reverse flick with his stick with his back to the Sevenoaks’ goal to complete a 3-0 win.
“What most impressed me was that we stayed patient and calm and just kept playing our hockey even though we couldn’t find the net, it was almost as if we knew something would give,” Burroughs said.
“The truth is their goalkeeper played out of his skin, if he hadn’t we would have won by more, but once we got the first the result was never really in doubt and had the game gone on another ten minutes we probably would have ran out big winners.”
And on his best goal threat Hough he said: “Matt was denied his hat-trick at Worthing when he had one go through the net and disallowed so he thoroughly deserved this one. He’s the player who has improved the most this year, he’s so strong on his reverse side, which is a difficult skill to master in hockey, and he’s probably the best finisher at the club. He’s so good as our drag flicker but ironically none of his hat-trick came from short corners on Saturday.”
Horsham face the top two sides in their next matches, Leaders Marden Russets at BBH this Saturday and then away at Sutton Valence the following Saturday.
Burroughs added: “They’ve been the best two sides in the league this season by some distance but we’ve got a lot to prove to ourselves.”