Horsham 4, Whitstable Town 0: ‘It was enjoyable to see the boys expressing themselves’

Lee Harding and Steve Metcalf celebrate. Picture by John Lines
Lee Harding and Steve Metcalf celebrate. Picture by John Lines

A second-half blitz saw Horsham notch their fourth consecutive Bostik League South East victory on Saturday and climb into the play-off places.

A 4-0 success over Whitstable Town at Culver Road owing to strikes from Charlie Harris, Lee Harding and Harvey Sparks, along with an own-goal which got things rolling, saw the Hornets stretch their unbeaten league run to seven matches.

Will Hoare in action against Whitstable Town. Picture by John Lines

Will Hoare in action against Whitstable Town. Picture by John Lines

It was a fine second-half display as Dominic Di Paola’s inform side brushed aside The Osytermen in the second period following a goalless first half.

Horsham broke the visitors resolve three minutes into the second half when Stuart West headed into his own net from a Horsham corner.

The hosts doubled their lead less than ten minutes later when Harris’ cross was delivered into the box, missed everyone and nestled into the back of the net.

Horsham added a third 11 minutes before full-time when substitute Lee Harding’s fierce cross was angled into the net in the far side netting.

Rob O'Toole in action against Whitstable Town. Picture by John Lines

Rob O'Toole in action against Whitstable Town. Picture by John Lines

Sparks capped a fine performance when he ran onto Joey Taylor’s defence-splitting ball, finishing low with the last kick of the game.

Di Paola said: “It was a battling first half, but second half I was really happy. We made a couple of little changes half-time, just tweaks that helped.

“The boys, credit to them, took them on board and were excellent. I looked at the stats and we have 22 chances with 11 on target, I think the had two shots.

“Things are going ok at the moment, but we have a really tough run of games, which I have talked about before. But we have to use them to see how far we have come. Before Christmas, I do not think there is half an easy game in there - these four or five now are our next challenge.

“We scored right after half-time which took the stuffing out of them. You can see why they beat teams. They have some big units and are tough and physical side that put it on you, you have to deal with that and we did deal with their threats well.

“The last 20 or 25 minutes was a pleasure to be a part of. It was really enjoyable to see the boys expressing themselves.”

Horsham made three changes with Dorking Wanderers loanee Kieran Lavery coming in for his debut and Steve Metcalf and Tyrell Richardson-Brown also coming in.

Clear-cut chances were at a minimum in the first half, the closest was when Dan Eason tipped away Richardson-Brown’s ball across the face of goal, before he also turned away Rob O’Toole’s effort.

The second half was a different story as Metcalf’s shot from range was pushed away, but from the resulting corner under pressure from O’Toole, Stuart West headed into his own net.

It was 2-0 on 57 minutes as Harris’ second attempt at a cross flew across everyone and found the far corner.

Harding crashed one against the bar, but had his goal a minute later with a dangerous cross that sailed over Eason, before Sparks added a fourth late on.

Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf, Shelley, Merchant (Hyde 84), Sparks, Hoare, Brivio, Harris (Taylor 84), Richardson-Brown (Harding 68), Lavery, O’Toole. Unused: Haywards, Baxter.