Game 3 of the Christmas period saw Horsham visit Colston Ave. another good crowd of 415 saw the Robins eventually overcome a stubborn Hornets side 2-1 to keep up with the leaders and register a league double over our visitors from West Sussex.
Peter Adeniyi made 3 changes from the draw with Corinthian Casuals, Mekhail McLaughlin, Levi Phillps and Brendan Murphy-McVey all started. With Ola Sogbanmu, Ricky Korboa and Danny Dudley all making way, surprisingly Dudley wasn't even on the bench.
The Robins made a strong start to the match and put our visitors under intense pressure. We looked dangerous every time we went forward. Peter Adeniyi had our first chance on goal but was denied by the keeper, the rebound fell to Mikel Miller who slid in Tommy Bradford, but he fired wide. Soon after we had another good chance to take the lead, a neat one-two between Miller and Bradford, saw the ball find its way to Brendan, who quickly put Tommy Bradford in but he dragged his shot wide. Our pressure finally told, when with 17 minutes on the clock we took a deserved lead. Good work from Levi Phillips on the wing passed to Tommy Bradford just inside the 18yard area, he turned his marker, and he fired home. But instead of continuing with our attacking stance, we sat back and slowed the game down, Horsham were being allowed back into the game, when we really should of kept at it. Horsham had a couple of chances to level the scores, first Dean Brown found space out on the right of our defence, and cut in, but he fired wide. They also saw a couple of crosses flash across the 6 yard area, but thankfully for us not one Hornets played could get the killer touch. Right at the death, Billy Bishop had to be at his best to block a good effort from Scott Kirkwood. But despite the late pressure we went in the break 1-0 up.
The Hornets started the second half stronger, and were forcing the Robins defence back on their own line. Dean Brown nearly scored as he headed in a cross from the left, but he could only find the side netting. The Robins, looked rocked as we took a little time to get in this, and we were losing the midfield battles. Our first chance of the half came from Levi Phillips, who went on another run, found Jordan Cheadle, but again he missed the target. Tommy Bradford put in A good pass to Brendan, but his shot was blocked by the keeper. Horsham levelled the scores through Steve Metcalf, Darren Boswell, great run out on the left, cut in after beating two Robins players, found Metcalf who fired in past Billy Bishop. We made a double change and brought on Ricky Korboa and Ola Sogbanmu, for the dangerous Levi Phillips, and a tired and knackered Brendan Murphy-McVey, who hadn't played a lot of football recently. This was a double sub which soon paid dividends, as with 15 minutes left we took the lead again. Peter Adeniyi, out on the right turned two defenders put over a lovely ball to Ricky who made no mistake and fired in. Again we sat back defending the win, Horsham nearly made us pay near the end but Billy Bishop got down to save a effort from sub Toby House late in the game. But we held on to register a league double Horsham.
Overall, we started very well, Peter Adeniyi suprised us with his team line-up, we was all surprised to see Brendan back in from the start, he did ok but looked tired from early in the second half. No suprise as he hasn't played much recently. Peter was rotating his squad with the amount of games in the period. Felt sorry for Ryan Healy, thought he deserved a start. But Peter knows what he's doing. I'm glad we got the win, but why do we have to make it such hard work ?. It's not good for us fans behind the goal !!. Still it keeps us in the hunt, as all but Corinthian Casuals won this afternoon, but we really need to start putting teams like this to bed early on, I don't understand why we have to stop playing once we take the lead, we're not really good enough to defend a lead that long, if we keep attacking when we have the better of the games, isn't it best we try and go for more goals when we have the upper hand. Good to see another big crowd this afternoon at the ground of 415 which was bolstered by the deal the club had with Dulwich Hamlet fans, after their top of the table clash with Billericay Town was called off early, they had a few down for the game which was nice.
All that's left is to wish all you Robins fans a Happy New Year, hopefully see you at South Park on New Years Day, that's if the weather gods allow !!
A happy New Year to you Lombard and all other Robins supporters on the web, good luck to Peter and the rest of the team.
Happy New Year