A new-look Horsham got their South Premier Division 2 campaign back underway after the Christmas break but suffered defeat by the odd goal.
Despite a good offensive display, the visitors were hit on the counter-attack late on by Tulse Hill & Dulwich as they secured a 3-2 victory.
The previous weekend Horsham had started their 2019 campaign with a confidence boost, beating lower division Worthing to qualify for the final of the Sussex Cup they have held for the past three years.
They bought that confidence to Dulwich College, but lost the points to two goals against the run of play.
Since the Christmas break Horsham have beefed up the squad. Skipper Rob Turnbull has been looking for a ‘keeper all season and seems to finally have found the right candidate in Joe Elgar, who previously played for Canterbury 2nd, but who has moved to Brighton. He made several excellent saves and talks well to his defence. Thomas Griffiths was back from five weeks out with a hamstring problem.
Dom Male remains as team coach but, on the basis he struggles to attend games, Club coaching stalwart Brian Humphreys is running the strategy on match days and against Tulse Hill his team looked much more organised.
As on so many occasions Horsham started well, resisting the physicality of the home team and steadily taking control.
Once again, they opened the scoring, Chas Richardson forcing home from a goalmouth scramble following a short corner.
Tulse Hill struggled to get the ball into the Horsham red zone. Hockey isn’t normally a game where you can take pot shots from a distance, but the home side got lucky when a crash ball from midfield slipped past Horsham sticks and a forward got enough stick on it to deflect past Elgar.
Horsham fought back and a Tim Upchurch flick had enough power to bounce off the keeper’s glove and find the back of the net for a 2-1 lead at half-time.
The second half was more of the same and Tulse Hill scored a good goal from a short corner to level things.
Horsham pressed and pushed and had much the better of the play and coach Humphreys decided to throw everything forward. However, following a turnover, Tulse Hill counter-attacked exploiting gaps at the back and worked the ball around Elgar.
“When you’re going forward so well nobody likes to settle for one point,” Horsham manager Al Campbell said after the match.
“It was a game that was always going to be decided by the odd goal – unfortunately it fell to them.”
The result was Horsham’s eighth defeat of the season from the 12 games they have played so far.
They sit third-from bottom in the standings, six points above Woking and seven ahead of basement boys Slough.
This Saturday, Horsham entertain league stragglers Slough at Christ’s Hospital. Push back is 11.30 am.