Horsham match two report
match report by Rupert Cane
Kingstonian exited the FA Cup in familiar fashion on Tuesday night, losing away to Horsham for the second season running on another frustrating night in Sussex.
Just as in the 1-1 draw in the first game on Saturday, K’s dominated possession and territory. However, creating clear chances again proved problematic for Hayden Bird’s side.
Inside the first minute Rhys Murrell-Williamson got away down the left and delivered an inviting centre which Danny Dudley nearly turned past his own keeper.
K’s continued to press forward in search of the opening goal. One fluent move ended with Murrell-Williamson firing a fraction wide, before two long-range shorts in quick succession forced Sam Howes in the Hornets goal to make two diving saves, Jason Banton and Murrell-Williamson the men denied.
The home side grew into proceedings and on 20 minutes a great block from Ollie Cook prevented former K Tom Richards testing Rob Tolfrey. But the game remained goalless for just five more minutes, with the crucial opening goal going Horsham’s way.
Doug Tuck tried his luck from distance, his well-struck effort thudding against the left-hand post. The rebound was turned back goalwards and collected by the lurking Shamir Fenelon, who spun and picked out the bottom corner with K’s defence still disorganised from the initial effort.
Aside from a couple of crunching challenges, one by Fenelon and one on him which signalled his early withdrawal, there was little action of note for the remainder of the first half.
K’s came out with greater intensity after the interval, and Daniel Ajakaiye so nearly had us level on 51 minutes. He cleverly turned inside two defenders, with only a tiny deflection taking his sweet left-footed strike past the post.
Horsham, now well and truly sitting deep and playing on the counter, should have doubled their lead on the hour but Charlie Harris shot wide after a low cross found him unmarked inside the box.
K’s thought Murrell-Williamson was away only for the referee to stop play for an offside, even though the offside flag was not yet raised. Presumably the assistant had buzzed his flag but not backed that up with the customary action; it rather summed up a frustrating night all round. Aaron Lamont, warming up on the touchline, was booked for dissent.
Bird made a triple change with 20 minutes remaining to try and force a leveller but Horsham dug deep. When Ajakaiye did wriggle free with time almost up, Howes spread himself and saved as the angle narrowed. It proved Kingstonian’s last chance of staying in the Cup, with 180 minutes of football against an injury-stricken Horsham side yielding just a penalty. So attention is firmly on the league for now, and the two teams will renew rivalries in the Isthmian Premier Division on Wednesday evening.
Horsham: Sam Howes, Alex Laing, Harvey Sparks, Doug Tuck, Danny Dudley, Jack Brivio, Lee Harding, Tom Kavanagh, Shamir Fenelon, Charlie Harris, Tom Richards.
Subs: Chris Smith (for Charlie Harris, 85m), Eddie Dsane (for Shamir Fenelon, 44m), Lucas Rodrigues, Steve Metcalf, Gary Charman.
Goal scorer: Shamir Fenelon (25m, 1-0)