McCreadie treble all but secures Horsham’s survival

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A poacher’s hat-trick from Trevor McCreadie set up a vital 4-1 over Chipstead which all but guarantees Horsham’s Ryman South survival.

The in-form striker’s treble made it six goals in seven games since joining the club and Ray Freeman was also on target for a big three points on Tuesday night.

Hosts Horsham - who began the day five points clear of bottom side Walton Casuals - took the lead after seven minutes when McCreadie scored from eight yards after the ball dropped to him from a corner.

The lead was nearly doubled two minutes later when Chips defender Tom Jelley turned a dangerous Ryan Marriott cross just over his own crossbar.

Visiting winger Joe Nowoko should have equalised when a low cross found him on his own inside the box but the ball scraped under his studs and away.

A closely-fought first half finished with a Scott Harris pot shot which flew just past Chips keeper Martin Grant’s post.

Defender Chris Ellis stabbed a decent chance to level from a corner wide at the start of the second half before Horsham doubled their lead.

Jamal King’s header from a corner was tipped over by Martin, but the Chips stopper didn’t do so well with the following set piece, as he spilt Gary Charman’s header and McCreadie was on hand to poke in his and Horsham’s second.

And from that moment there was only one winner and Ray Freeman latched onto a poor backpass to expertly lob Grant for 3-0.

Then on 69 minutes McCreadie completed his instinctive treble when Nwachukwu burst down the right, his low cross was scuffed towards goal by Freeman and McCreadie threw himself forward to divert the ball into the net.

Nwachukwu drew a fine diving save from Grant before Chips denied Horsham a clean sheet with six minutes to go. Centre back Jamal King tripped Laurent Hamici in the box and Chipstead skipper Jelley smashed home the resulting penalty.

The visitors finished the game with ten minutes when striker Laurent Hamici was shown a second yellow card for an off the ball incident involving Jamal King in stoppage time.

Horsham (4-4-2): Hunter; Brockhurst, Farmer, King, Charman; Marriott, Nwachukwu, Harris (Waterman 79), Akehurst; Freeman (Koboah 79), McCreadie (Ampleford 89).