Horsham 1 Whitehawk 0
Match report by George Bryant-Nichols
Whitehawk’s U18 side travelled to Horsham on the 16th of December looking to record a victory to turn around recent form, and the home side aiming to build on a draw with Burgess Hill Town last time out.
The game began fluidly, with both teams showing hints of breaking the deadlock in the first ten minutes, with the young Hawks pushing down the wings and whipping in hopeful crosses towards the front post.
It was, however, Horsham who broke the deadlock with 12 minutes gone, courtesy of a mix-up from the Whitehawk defence, allowing the Hornet’s lively forward Adam Adam to run through on goal. Lomas’ valiant attempt to smother the ball was ultimately in vain as the ball spilled out of his grasp, with Eugene Moteane slotting home into the unguarded net. Horsham 1, Whitehawk 0.
Whitehawk almost restored parity immediately, with James Lyon-Monk’s delivery picking out Luke O’Neil in the 18-yard box, but Edgley in the Hornets’ goal did well to put out any hopes from the team in red of the ball finding the back of the net. Three minutes later, O’Neil was played in by Toby Reeder, going down in the box to vociferous shouts for a penalty by the Whitehawk players which were surprisingly waved away by the referee. Whitehawk were knocking on the door, but Horsham’s backline stood firm.
Whitehawk made significant efforts to get back on even terms throughout the first half, with Toby Reeder in the 27th minute rising above the defenders to head the ball goalward, albeit not quite on target. Horsham had chances of their own, moving the ball well and giving Whitehawk’s midfield very little time on the ball as a result of their high intensity game.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Alex Maclean’s night was done after just 36 minutes played, with an injury forcing him off despite attempts to play on – replaced by Will Goss.
The teams went into the break with Horsham 1 goal to the good, with the game being pretty even despite the score line.
The Young Hawks came back out from the break with renewed energy, keeping possession well and pushing forward towards the Horsham goal time and time again, despite not producing any glaring chances. Horsham equally had spells where they looked like they might double their advantage, but none executed by their attackers. Whitehawk made two substitutions, bringing on Sam N’Cho and Jack Duckett, and launched an onslaught on the Horsham defence in the last 20 minutes of the match.
With Horsham players diving in everywhere to make tackles and blocks, they really fought hard to defend their lead, with Matt Godfrey looking the most likely to score with 82 minutes gone, Duckett teeing up his shot – however the Horsham defenders did extremely well to get the ball away, after it looked for certain that he’d at least be able to get a shot off from the position that he was in. Minutes later Reeder headed marginally wide when well placed and then had another header crowded out at the far post.
Despite the continuous effort from Whitehawk to make inroads, they ultimately weren’t able to round it off with a goal, so at full time the score remained Horsham 1, Whitehawk 0.
The Young Hawks next will welcome Burgess Hill Town to the Terrapura in the new year – they will be looking to start off 2022 positively against a team below them in the table, to boost morale and also to consolidate improvements across the board shown throughout previous matches that haven’t quite gone their way.