Horsham eased to their first victory of the season on their return to the Ryman League as they won 3-0 against ten-man Lewes at Gorings Mead this afternoon.
Having picked up their first point of the campaign in a 3-3 draw at Hythe Town on Saturday, the Hornets produced their best showing of the season to date against Darren Freeman’s outfit.
The visitors have been hotly-tipped for an immediate return to the Premier Division after last year’s relegation, but suffered an early set back in the derby game.
Defender Afolabi Coker was sent off after just 12 minutes for a last-man challenge and Darren Boswell fired the Hornets ahead from the resulting free-kick.
Terry Dodd extended the lead before the break as Boswell turned provider, before the winger wrapped up the scoring in the second half with a goal-of-the-season contender.
The first chance went Lewes’ way as Josh Street collected ball eight yards out of the box after a cleared corner, controlled and sent a right-footed effort skidding wide of the far post.
On seven minutes a great through ball by Dodd put Liam MacDevitt away, but Alex Malins’ recovery tackle forced him wide and the chance was gone.
Just six minutes later, Horsham had the lead through Boswell and Lewes were reduced to ten men.
Superb closing-down work by Ashley Jones saw him tackle centre-back Coker and get past the defender.
He was then hauled down right on the edge of the box and was brandished a straight red card as the last man.
Horsham’s appeals for the foul being committed in the box were short lived as Tom Lawley teed-up Boswell and he smashed into the bottom corner.
Lewes reshuffled as Josh Street was replaced by Charlie Coppola, who filled in a right-back with Steve Brinkhurst switching to centre-back.
Lawley’s goalbound effort was then blocked by Malins and Carney curled one just wide of the far post from the edge of the box.
The home side doubled their lead ten minutes before the break as Boswell produced a teasing cross from the left and Dodd and a defender slid in, with the ball crashing home and Dodd reeling away in celebration.
A mix-up at the back between George Branford and keeper Josh Pelling presented Lewes with a half chance as Coppola collected the ball, but his dangerous ball across an empty goal was hooked clear.
The first chance of the half went Horsham’s way as MacDevitt’s looping header from Alex Duncan’s cross sailed just over.
Boswell made the game safe on 58 minutes with a goal of the highest quality.
Lewis Hyde won the ball at left-back, debutant Ollie Gill, just off the bench, then set away Boswell on the left and the winger cut back in and sent a thunderbolt from 23 yards into the far top corner.
The home side then ran down the clock as the ten-men visitors tired, while Pelling made a couple of routine catches late on the preserve the clean sheet.
Horsham: Pelling, Duncan, Jones, Farmer, Hyde, Lawley (Sackman 86), Branford, Carney, Boswell (Whitehead 63), Dodd (Gill 51) McDevitt. Unused subs: Andrade, Ender.
Lewes: Winterton, Brinkhurst, George, Dixon, Coker, Malins, Jones (Laing 55), Cotton, Dawes, Street (Hammond 16, Sow 63), Coppola. Unused subs: Vickers, Kealy.
Referee: Matthew Lee.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!