Trips north of the M4 have been a disaster for Horsham this season.
They haemorrhaged early goals at Henley and did exactly the same on Saturday at Banbury. On both occasions they fought bravely back to ‘win’ the second half, but the efforts have been too little too late.
The game was nearly frozen off but, much to their credit, the home side found a playable pitch and, after 2 hours delay, the team set sail for North Oxfordshire. The Horsham pre-match talk identified the potential pitfalls in facing a side that had averaged 6 goals a game – it is one thing to spot a threat and another to nullify it. From the push-back Banbury exploited gaping holes down the left side of the Horsham defence and were 2-0 up within 7 minutes.
Horsham reorganised dominating the remainder of the half and creating chance after chance whilst minimising Banbury’s opportunities. However the ball refused to find the net. Four efforts went just past the post and Hough hit the woodwork.
The second half started in similar vein but it was Banbury who struck against the run of play. Horsham swapped a defender for another attacker and scored when Cirdec Atkinson converted a short corner. Horsham pressed but Banbury scored a fluke fourth when a mishit looped over Burlinson’s head.
At 4-1 the game might have been over but Horsham’s class finally told and two goals in quick succession, from Jo Humphreys and a second from Atkinson, left Horsham wondering what might have been. Manager Al Campbell was circumspect about the outcome telling the County Times ‘we were genuinely the better side but we simply can’t afford to give teams like Banbury a head start’.
Next Saturday the team have their final foray up the M4 for the rearranged match with Marlow.