A goal in each half by captain Joe Shelley earned Horsham a routine win against nine-man Wick.
It wasn’t a classic display for the hardy fans to savour, hindered by the conditions and their opponents playing a physical game.
Horsham’s fortunes were helped by referee Nick Blogg dismissing two Wick players: one just before half-time and the second with just over 30 minutes to go.
Manager Dom Di Paola made four changes to the side which beat St Francis Rangers 5-0 last Saturday.
Brad Lewis, Kieron Pamment, Kevin Keehan and Ashley Jones started in place of Alex Duncan, Ryan Storrie, Terry Dodd and Harry Smith.
16-year-old Thomas Black was on the bench having signed yesterday following his release from the Brighton & Hove Albion Academy.
The game was played on a bobbly, heavily rutted pitch with a freezing strong breeze to test the staying power of the spectators. Horsham had to kick uphill against the wind in the first half.
Horsham took the lead in the 14th minute from the penalty spot, calmly put away by Joe Shelley after Pamment was brought down in the area by Wick captain Matt Noble.
Wick threatened on the break and on one of their counter-attacks, Noble had a long-range shot deflected narrowly wide.
From the ensuing corner the division’s seocnd highest scorer, Wick’s Dan Simmonds, headed over the bar.
Horsham were nearly rewarded with a goal when Adam Hunt’s cross from the right found Darren Boswell on the opposite side, whose shot hit the foot of the post.
The game took a sudden twist in Horsham’s favour two minutes before half-time when Wick’s Scott Towers was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Boswell, reducing Wick to ten men.
Wick suffered another blow after 57 minutes when Darren Pearce was sent-off for a second yellow card awarded for a rash foul on Pamment.
Shelley had a shot cleared off the line by Rob Madden after a free-kick was spilled by keeper Billy Nash.
Shelley then scored his and Horsham’s second goal, a well-executed far post header to nod home Pamment’s corner kick.
Horsham could not make the most of their two-man advantage but still did enough to win and to be fair the reslt was never in doubt as Wick rarely delved far into the Horsham half of the pitch.
Shelley nearly completed his hat-trick when he headed a Boswell cross on target, forcing a fine save from keeper Nash.
Horsham: Williams, Lewis, Knee, Keehan (Martin 73), Jones, Farmer (Duncan 75), Shelley, Hunt, Archibald (Atkinson 80), Pamment, Boswell.
Unused subs: Block, Storrie
Referee: Nick Blogg (Southwater)
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