Horsham halt London Edwardians 17 game unbeaten streak
Burroughs' field goal, Hough's 6th in 5 games and a Paddy Penalty prove enough to take the points
This was always going to be an informative game of hockey. London Edwardians came to Broadbridge Heath one point above the home team, on the back of a 17 match unbeaten streak. They are a regular top half team in the division and Duncan Howarth’s men knew the outcome would show if the side could step up on last year. Luckily the squad was back to full strength. Joe Humphreys’ toe proving to have been bruised not broken, Dave Leadbitter's shoulder responding to the magic finger of Sue Chinn, and Dom Cohen back on duty.
The visitors were a young strong team and attacked from the off. In goal Neil Burlinson showed his value as a shot-stopper on more than one occasion. Horsham’s back four would admit they are not the fastest in the world and struggled at first to cope with London Ed’s speed down the flanks. Just when it looked as if Horsham were containing the pressure Burlinson failed to get enough stick on a shot and the ball hit the home team backboard.
It was the wake-up call Horsham needed. The side fought its way back into the game with a strong counter attack, John Burroughs’ powerful finish levelling the score with the team’s first shot on goal. Clever play by Joe Humphreys, showing great skill to pull the upgrade inside the D resulted in a short corner. Matt Hough stepped up and converted his 6th drag-flick in 5 games just before the whistle. He is now one of the leagues top three scorers.
Ten minutes into the second half, with play evenly poised, the umpire adjudged an Ed’s defender to have deliberately kicked a ball away in the D and penalty specialist Paddy Humphreys struck from the spot. At this stage last season at 3-1 up Horsham would probably have kept on attacking. However showing composure and confidence the team reorganised and set out to make it hard for the visitors to get back into the game.
It would take something pretty special to score when a midfield of Joe Humpreys, Campbell and Burroughs contests every ball, and is supported by Male, Akande, Leadbitter and Hough, not to mention Burlinson at the back. Especially when the forward rotation still threatens on the break. In the end Ed's couldn't muster anything special enough and the team comfortably played out the last 20 minutes.
The team has already proved how strong it can be moving forward. When it comes to closing out a game the guys showed they have the maturity to protect the advantage and make sure they take the points.