Horsham match report
match report by Simon Grier
“That’s the worst performance by one of my Kingstonian teams since I’ve been here”, declared Hayden Bird after this 4-0 loss to Horsham. Sadly for Ks fans he wasn’t exaggerating.
The Hornets had been out of form themselves, winning just one of their previous nine. But they dominated this game from the very first minute against Bird’s disjointed visitors.
Ks seemed behind the 8 ball even before the game kicked off, when Jerry Puemo was injured the warm-up. And worse was to follow two minutes into the game, Rob Tolfrey badly dislocating his shoulder in parrying out a Jack Brivio twenty-yarder. Ks were lucky that Lee Harding put the follow-up over the bar.
Alfie Young did well to hook a Shamir Fenelon header off the line with Tolfrey’s replacement Serrine Sanneh beaten. But the home side were completely dominant and took a deserved lead on 15 minutes, ex-K Tommy Kavanagh finding Sanneh’s bottom corner with a fine free kick.
Harding hit the post with Sanneh doing well to save Tom Richards’ follow-up effort. The on-loan goalkeeper also did well to save from Fenelon and Harding before Horsham went two up on 38 minutes. Kavanagh struck impressively into the top corner from 30 yards, although the space Ks afforded him to do so was hard for the visiting fans to believe.
The ball eventually found its way to the other end of Horsham’s splendid new ground, with Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s 20-yarder forcing Sam Howes to tip wide. Ks played the resulting corner short, meaning in the 41st minute they’d finally had a touch in the Horsham penalty box. It was worked to Ollie Cook, whose header was comfortably saved.
Murrell-Williamson had a shot easily saved just after the break but nothing really improved for Ks. Horsham made it 3-0 on 67 minutes when Tom Day got in front of his man to poke Richards’ free kick past Sanneh.
Walter Figueira forced Howes to save a powerful 20-yarder and substitute Jay Barton hit the post with what looked like an overhit cross. But although Sanneh saved to deny Kavanagh a hat-trick the Hornets eventually made it 4-0, left-back Harvey Sparks enjoying the chance to get forward and slam the ball home from a tight angle when most were expecting him to cross.
Bird was honest after the game about how poor the performance was. Ks are still only three points outside the playoffs at present but the manager will have to act quickly to turn this collapse in form around if they’re going to have any chance of making the top five. The league leaders await ominously on Tuesday.
Horsham: Sam Howes, Chris Sessegnon, Harvey Sparks, Doug Tuck, Will Miles, Tom Day, Lee Harding, Tom Kavanagh, Shamir Fenelon, Jack Brivio, Tom Richards.
Subs: Charlie Harris, Charlie Hester-Cook (for Jack Brivio, 77m), Rob O'Toole (for Shamir Fenelon, 81m), Lucas Rodrigues (for Lee Harding, 81m), Eddie Dsane.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Simon Cooper, Fabio Saraiva, Alfie Young, Ollie Cook, Kenny Beaney, Nyren Clunis, Kershaney Samuels, Walter Figueira, Daniel Ajakaiye, Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
Subs: Calvin Ekpiteta (for Simon Cooper, 63m), Jay Barton (for Kershaney Samuels, 63m), Jerry Puemo, Kwesi Ntim, Serine Sanneh (for Rob Tolfrey, 5m).
Goal scorers: Tom Kavanagh (15m, 1-0), Tom Kavanagh (37m, 2-0), Tom Day (67m, 3-0), Harvey Sparks (83m, 4-0)