Horsham hockey players share 12 goals in thriller with Brighton

After Covid induced cancellation of hockey’s winter league, and ahead of the re-start on a reorganised basis,  a localised summer programme has been organised to provide competition.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:18 pm
Neil Brenson in action for Horsham in their 6-6 draw with Brighton / Picture: Nick Evans

At Christ’s Hospital last Saturday, spectators were treated to an entertaining, high-scoring game, Horsham men drawing 6-6 with a Brighton & Hove side that had won 6-1 in the earlier reverse fixture. Brighton started with a barrage of attacks, but Horsham had the first scoring opportunity from a breakaway before Rob Turnbull shot at the keeper.

But, on the quarter-hour mark, action switched to the other end, and after a failed clearance the ball was deflected high into the Horsham net.

A Brighton short corner brought a good overhead save from keeper Ben Beard. Under pressure, Horsham averted another short until a close range goal doubled the lead.

Mark Humphreys on the ball for Horsham in their 6-6 draw with Brighton / Picture: Nick Evans

Horsham reduced the deficit when player coach Andy Blood slotted home a penalty. A Horsham short corner came to nothing ahead of an unstoppable reverse stick strike screaming into the top corner, only for Brighton’s advantage to be reduced again, Blood scoring Horsham’s second goal from back to back short corners. Brighton smashed in their fourth, yet Horsham weren’t surrendering either, going into the break 3-4 down after Blood found the net again.

Straight from the re-start Horsham had a goal disallowed, but they equalised then went ahead with two goals from Mark Humphreys, before a Blakesley overhead strike put Horsham 6-4 to the good.

But, Brighton netted twice more, first high from a short, then with a clean strike, the 6-6 outcome being a fair reflection.

Blood told the County Times: “They came at us hard to begin with, but we recovered well, taking our chances to convert second half opportunties. We return to CH on Saturday for a midday push back against East Grinstead.”

To cut winter travelling, a new challenging, South East premier division has been formed, one step down from the National Conference.

It means Horsham’s men’s firsts will come up against Blackheath & Elthamians, Canterbury 2s, Eastbourne, Guildford, Lewes, Old Bordenians, Old Georgians 2s,

Old Williamsonians, Sevenoaks 2s, Tunbridge Wells and Woking.