U18 Whitehawk 0 Horsham YMCA 1
Referee: Jamie Codgell
Match report by George Bryant-Nichols
Horsham YMCA travelled to the home of the Hawks for an exciting encounter to start off 2022 at the Terrapura under the lights. Both sides seemed ready for the occasion, with strong challenges flying in early on. YM were the first of the two to come close to scoring, with an effort from Henderson grazing the crossbar.
Neither side had any clear cut chances to capitalise on after 25 minutes, with both sets of defences standing firm, and the final ball also lacking for both teams. Attacks tended to break down before a solid delivery, and the corners that were conceded didn’t lead to goal scoring opportunities.
The lowlight of the half for the Young Hawks was Ossie O’Neill’s unfortunate departure through injury, albeit with the more than capable James Lyon-Monk replacing him on the 40 minute mark.
Before the break, Ellis Martin almost broke the deadlock for the Young Hawks, with his header arrowing into the back of the net if not for a goal-line clearance to deny Whitehawk a crucial goal.
Half time, Whitehawk 0, Horsham YMCA 0. Honours even after 45 at the Terrapura, with neither side looking much like getting on the scoresheet.
Horsham YM came out of the blocks fastest in the second half, dominating the early moments of the period, pushing forwards and looking to catch the Whitehawk defence unawares with constant crosses and runs forward.
YM’s barrage on the Whitehawk back line eventually paid dividends after 63 minutes, with the team in blue making the most of their possession with a sweeping ball struck goalwards by Alfie Maguire to put Horsham in front.
Facing defeat, Whitehawk did not make it at all easy for Horsham to hold onto their slender lead in the last 20 minutes of the match. Finding more fluency in attack, Matt Godfrey rounded the keeper and sub Sam N’Cho picked up the ball to shoot, only to be denied by a brilliant stop on the line by Cameron Joste. YM keeper Montgomery Watson-Price also saved spectacularly from Lyon-Monk to keep his team ahead.
Despite the efforts of the Young Hawks to make a breakthrough, and the introduction of another forward in Callum Esnouf, they were ultimately unable to restore parity on the night, with Maguire’s strike alone deciding the fate of the match. Full time: Whitehawk 0, Horsham YMCA 1. YM therefore gained revenge for the Hawks 2-1 win in Horsham in November.
The Young Hawks will look to bounce back against 2nd placed Lewes next time out, with that one kicking off at 19:45pm on the 31st of January at the Terrapura once again. Whitehawk sit 8th in the Isthmian Youth South League, 7 points adrift of previous opponents Horsham YMC, albeit with 2 games in hand on the Horsham outfit.