Horsham set for Christmas break ‘close to cracking it’ in survival battle

DM16146226a.jpg Hockey: Horsham v Bromley and Beckenham. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160210-121708008
DM16146226a.jpg Hockey: Horsham v Bromley and Beckenham. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160210-121708008

Captain Andy Isaacs believes his Horsham side are going into the Christmas break on the verge of finding better performances in their relegation battle.

They sit second to bottom in South Premier Division 1, but can take heart from improving displays.

So much so that the goalkeeper believes they are ‘very, very close to cracking it on the pitch’.

Only one team was relegated from the division last year, and while two going down is the official stance, it is expect only one will fall out the division at the end of the season - depending on movements in the National League Premier and Conference divisions.

Horsham currently have two draws and one win from ten games so far this season, one in hand over basement boys Henley, after their clash at Oxford Hawks on Saturday was postponed ahead of the away side making the trip due to a frozen pitch.

Isaacs’ side have five points, one more than Henley and five less than place-above London Wayfarers, but two consecutive home draws has given them cause for optimism.

Isaacs said: “I guess with regards to results and performances we had had two 2-2 draws in our last two games and in both had led 2-1 in the last five minutes and come unstuck late on from penalty corners.

“We have taken a lot of confidence from that and we are very, very close to cracking it. We go into Christmas with five points, last year we had seven so it is a bit of deja vu, but I do feel we will pull it together.

“Last year only one went down and I feel it might be one again, but we do not bank on it as it depends on what happens in the leagues above.”

In the last month, Horsham have only had one heavy defeat in five matches and that was against the league leaders London Edwardians.

The other results have seen two draws and two narrow losses - each by just the odd goal.

Skipper Isaacs has also stressed the importance of keeping their place in the division due to upcoming restructuring.

He explained: “It will change after next season, if we stay up this year then the top-six the following season will go up into the National League - they will then have 72 teams rather than the 40 they do now.

“It is really important we stay up this year and then progress the squad with a couple of new faces looking ahead to that.”

Horsham are now not in action again until January 13. They return from a five-week break with a trip to fourth-from-bottom side Indian Gymkhana.