Horley 3 – 2 STCFC
We made the trip to new to the league Horley Town on Tuesday evening on the back of Saturday’s win but knowing it was going to be a tough test to an unknown side.
The squad had a little shuffle and in came new signing Jamie Weston and went straight into the line up along with Charlie Romain and the returning Alex Gathern in a new mid-field role.
The game started at a frenetic pace and it was Romain on his first start of the season who came within a “lick” of paint to opening the scoring within the first 2 minutes when a nice passing move down the left resulted in a thunderbolt shoot which cannoned off BOTH posts and away to safety. The game then settled down and both teams started to play some good football but it as the host’s who drew first blood with a long cross field pass from left to right and a quick one-two the ball was into our box and Halsey smashed to ball past Conor Kelly.
That seem to rally the lad’s and they started to cause Horley problems and on 36 minutes Rob Clark and Ben Hands combined well down the right to create a chance which the Horley keeper had to deal with but resulted in a corner for Town. Weston took the corner which after a little pin-ball Horley cleared but could only find Hands who smashed home to level the scores.
Town started to push on but within 5 minutes fell foul to the new hand ball rule and conceded a penalty which seemed harsh as the ball got fired at close range to Fitzy and with nowhere to go it stuck his “armpit” and the referee blow for a spot kick which was converted by the lively Halsey to take Horley back into the lead.
After re-grouping at half time, Town came out the stronger and went close with efforts from Andrade, Radmore, Hands and all with some great link up play from Romain and Weston. It was the debutant who finally drew Town level on 70 minutes after great play on the right from Hands and after a stinging shot the Horley keeper could only spill it was Weston who followed in and smashed home the equaliser.
With Town getting back into the game for the second time, the lad’s were fully focused on going for the win but at this level proved to be the distraction Horley were looking for and almost from the re-start and long ball caught Town off guard and a quick passing move on the edge of the box resulted in Halsey grabbing his 3rd on 75 minutes and ultimately the winner.
Town made changes with Benson, Bull and Haulkham all coming on and threw everything at the Horley defence who stood firm until the final whistle.
Final score 3-2
A harsh score-line to take after gaining our first win on Saturday and the performance deserved at least a point. Credit to a well drilled Horley side and congratulations to the energetic Halsey who took home the match ball. A good competitive game with some great spells of football being played from both side.
Town turn their attention to the FA Cup on Saturday with another tough test against Ramsgate and are hoping for a bumper crowd.
Team: Kelly, Clark, Fitzpatrick, Timms, Maher, Gathern, Hands, Romain, Andrade, Weston, Radmore
Subs: Bull, Benson, Haulkham
Not Used : Faber, Pazaro