Blackheath hurt Horsham in nine-goal hockey thriller

A really cracking game of hockey, plenty of good goals, some great defending, and controversy – but a narrow defeat for Horsham away to Blackheath and Old Elthamians when, on another day, they might have at least shared the points.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 1:28 pm
Sam Bugler in recent Horsham action / Picture: Nick Evans

Travelling with only 12, depleted by injury and illness, Horsham will feel aggrieved at the outcome when they were the equal of the opposition, and would almost certainly have won with more depth on the bench.

On the same number of points, the sides began with even cut and thrust, Blackheath opening the scoring with a soft goal. Horsham equalised through a trademark Sean Pearcy flick, but almost on half-time, Blackheath scored from a short corner, making it 2-1.

Horsham resumed pressing and Charlie Sutton beat two defenders to see his acute angle shot deflect off the Blackheath goalkeeper’s pads into the net to equalise.

Blackheath retaliated with a fast break and a cross that connected with an unmarked forward to push home. They scored again with a wonderful reverse stick strike challenging for goal of the season, Tom Surridge in the Horsham goal almost getting a hand to it.

Blackheath’s fifth was even better, another reverse stick shot, coming out of the setting sun past Surridge’s right ear, giving him no chance.

Then the game turned on an unusual and bizarre umpiring reversal after Sam Macdonald was tackled and floored by the Blackheath keeper in a one on one clash.

The umpire, close by with an excellent view, immediately pointed to the penalty spot and showed the keeper a yellow card to send him off for 10 minutes, with spectators concurring. However, following strong home protests and intervention by the second official - well upfield - the decision of the impressive young umpire in his own D was reversed

Richard Blakely got Horsham’s third, and, with five minutes left, Horsham won a short corner, Sam Bugler converting. Sadly, there was no time for an equaliser.

Senior player Freddie Campbell said: “We really had them on the ropes at the death - another five minute,s we’ have forced the draw’.

On Saturday fifth-placed Horsham host second-placed Tunbridge Wells at Christ’s Hospital(11.30am).