Things click for Horsham Ladies with stunning second half fightback

Steph Dent celebrates one of her two goals which inspired the comeback. Pic by Clare Turnbull
Steph Dent celebrates one of her two goals which inspired the comeback. Pic by Clare Turnbull

A remarkable comeback saw Horsham Ladies turn around a 2-0 half-time deficit to run out 4-2 winners over rivals East Grinstead on Saturday.

Second half goals from Jess Dean, a double from Steph Dent and a late Coutney Pickford strike gave the side a vital league victory to end a run of three straight defeats.

Hosts Horsham were the better side in the first half but failed to convert their chances and were hit by two deflected goals as EG took control. “The first half really summed up how our season’s been going so far,” Horsham skipper Hannah Simpson said. “We’ve been playing really good hockey but not finishing our chances but in the second half it all clicked together.”

Horsham’s hopes of beating a strong visiting side who sat second in the Conference East table were hit when Zoe Burrell put EG ahead in the opening minutes.

But from there the home side strung together some neat passing moves and put pressure on the EG goal.

They forced five short corners in the opening half but failed to convert either, though Suzy Clapp’s powerful strike flew only just wide while Jess Dean fired across goal. And just before half time EG grabbed a second when a Joanna Davies strike from a short corner took a deflection to beat goalkeeper Simpson.

Dean gave the hosts some hope when she fired home from a short corner within ten minutes of the restart.

And two goals in five minutes from Dent - both good finishes from flowing moves - then put Horsham 3-2 ahead.

The team had to dig deep to withstand some heavy EG pressure with some dogged defending and some good saves from Simpson.

And as the final whistle sounded Horsham won a short corner which Pickford slammed home to confirm a welcome return to winning ways. Simpson added: “It just shows what we are capable of when we get the rub of the green and shows we can compete in this league. It’s reward for the side continuing to work hard as a team, hopefully this result will kick start our season.”