Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Hailsham Town 1 v 2 Horsham YMCA

Tuesday 17th March 2015
The Beaconsfield, Hailsham
Admission: £5.00
Programme: 50p
Attendance: 52
Match Rating: 3

For my midweek game, which is actually proving quite a rare occurrence for me so far in 2015, this evening I headed to Hailsham. Although I had only visited the Beaconsfield as recently as late January, this game fitted the bill of a local game to watch after work, after a refreshing pint of Guinness in recognition of St Patrick's Day.

Hailsham's position in the league has deteriorated since my last visit, and they are now third bottom in the table with 27 points from 30 games, although they are seemingly safe from any relegation worries, as the two clubs occupying the relegation places are 20 and 22 points adrift of Hailsham. Prospects were high of witnessing plenty of goals though, with Hailsham having scored 69 league goals, the fifth highest in the division, but have conceded 92, the second highest in the division. After watching this evening's visiting team win impressively against high flying Eastbourne Town, they have won one, drawn one and lost the other of their games since. They came into this game in seventh place, with 47 points from 30 games. It's fair to say that Hailsham would be looking for some revenge this evening, having lost 11-0 at Horsham YMCA in October, and indeed conceded 20 goals on their last two visits to Gorings Mead. Tonight's programme was the original produced for the original match postponed on 21st February, plus a four page insert for this evening's fixture.

On a dry, fairly mild evening, this was to prove a strange game in that Horsham always looked to be the team more in control of the game, yet it was Hailsham who created by far the better goalscoring chances. Indeed, if they had converted half of their gilt edged chances, they would have won this game comfortably. After Hailsham had fluffed two one on one situations and saw a shot go past the stranded keeper but drop go wide of the post, the visitors took the lead on 36 minutes. Dave Brown took advantage of some hesitancy between keeper and defender to prod the ball home. They almost doubled their lead two minutes later, but a free header from a central position, getting on the end of a perfectly looping cross from the right, dropped just wide of the post.

Into the second half and the game followed the same pattern as the first, and indeed, just minutes after Hailsham spurned another one on one opportunity, Horsham went on the attack, the ball was pulled back from the by line into the area, and the shot was ballooned over the bar, although the referee judged he was fouled in the process and a penalty was awarded. Dan Sullivan stroked the ball into the bottom left corner, despite the keeper diving the right way. Hailsham finally did manage to put the ball in the back of the net on 76 minutes. The Horsham keeper had an air kick at the ball following a sideways pass from his defender, the ball was retrieved from the edge of the area, and Jack Divall drilled the ball home low inside the keeper's near post. Horsham closed the game out quite comfortably though, to claim a narrow win, and although they played the better football, Hailsham will really kick themselves at failing to convert at least half a dozen clear goalscoring opportunities.

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