Isthmian League

Match Preview | Horsham (A)

It’s been a difficult end to the year for Shaun Saunders with his Whitehawk team without a league win in the previous eight matches, but he will be hoping for a change of fortune as we arrive into the first match of 2024 with Horsham the destination.

Back-to-back defeats on home soil proved that the wind was not quite in the Whitehawk sail after going almost the entirety of the year without defeat at The Enclosed Ground. A record that stood the test of time and broke numerous records, it is now time to translate that home form into the matches on the road, with this Sussex derby expected to be a high-octane affair.

The Opposition

Those connected with the club have been thoroughly treated to a memorable opening half of the season in which they gained national attention by earning a 3-3 draw at Barnsley’s Oakwell in early November. Barnsley would win the replay, only to field an ineligible player, sending Horsham through to the Second Round of the FA Cup.

They’d be defeated by Sutton United, but what an incredible run it was. Sitting in 9th, they’ve many a game in hand to push for a place in the play-offs as they play catch up on the majority of the league. Fixture congestion later on in the season could cause an issue, but as we enter the new year things are certainly promising for Dominic di Paola’s side. 

One to Watch | Daniel Ajakaiye: Horsham’s leading goalscorer this season with 10 in all competitions, the clinical 26-year-old forward is in his second season with the mid-Sussex club after a successful opening campaign last time around.

Joining The Hornets from Kingstonian in the summer of 2022, Ajakaiye commenced his career with Bromley’s Academy, before embarking on his journey into the non-league scene with spells at Whyteleafe, Kingstonian, Hastings United and Havant & Waterlooville. 

Recent Form – WDWLD

9/12 | AFC Totton (H) | Won 2-0 (FA Trophy)

12/12 | Chatham Town (H) | Drew 2-2

16/12 | Folkestone Invicta (H) | Won 2-1

26/12 | Bognor Regis Town (A) | Lost 2-0

30/12 | Dulwich Hamlet (A) | Drew 1-1 

Previous Meetings

The Hawks have the possibility of completing a league double over Horsham after a 3-1 win at The Enclosed Ground earlier in the season. A first Whitehawk win on home soil this campaign, Dominic Johnson-Fisher scored his first for the club, with Charlie Lambert and Luke Robinson helping to seal a memorable Bank Holiday Monday.

The Hawks’ last visit to The Camping World Community Stadium occurred last season in the Velocity Cup, where a late Will Miles header proved the difference in an entertaining 3-2 victory.

How to Follow

If you can’t make it to the first match of 2024, then you can follow the action via our X (Twitter) channel, which can be found here.


Tickets can be bought at the ground on the day of the game, or you can buy online by clicking this link.

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