Horsham 1 Tonbridge Angels 0 - Dolby: Goalscoring is a massive problem for us

Saturday 04th March 2006

Tom Graves 86


Stephen McCartney reports from Atspeed Stadium, Queen Street
Ryman League Division One

Tom Graves’ fourth goal of the season gave Horsham all three points at the Atspeed Stadium - scoring a dramatic late winner.

Horsham winger, John Westcott marked an impressive performance when his right-footed cross from the left touchline found the right-back unmarked and his glancing header from four yards floated past Jerome John, who was rooted to the spot, and into the far corner.

However, just two minutes prior to that sucker-punch the Kent side made a double substitution, bringing on strikers Leroy Huggins and Wade Falana in search of the winner, having dominated the second half.

Following Nick Barnes’ 60th minute corner from the left, Horsham goalkeeper Rob Frankland came a long way to punch the ball as far as Angels’ midfielder Danny Lye, but his left-footed volley from 18-yards was headed off the line by Anthony Howard, well positioned on the left upright.

And only former Cray Wanderers’ striker Jon Main will know how he missed an gilt-edged chance with 12 minutes remaining.

Steve Sodje, signed on a month’s loan from Ryman Premier League side Hampton & Richmond Borough on the eve of the game, impressed on his return and was denied by Frankland on the edge of the box.

Main, whose scored 20 goals for Cray Wanderers this season, drove a 20-yard shot agonisingly wide of the foot of the right post - missing an open goal and his 24th goal of the season and more importantly securing his side three vital points.

Horsham are now just two points behind leaders Ramsgate - who lost 1-0 to Croydon Athletic at Southwood Stadium today - with ten games remaining.

Tonbridge Angels, meanwhile, drop one place to fifth and are now four points behind an automatic promotion place, and player-manager Tony Dolby bemoaned his side’s lack of fire power, having scored just two goals from their last five outings.

He said: “I thought we had the lionshare of possession and chances during the course of the game. The fact that we didn’t take them, we got punished in the end.

“But (during) the last few weeks we haven’t scored enough goals. We haven’t taken enough chances but we’ve been solid at the back, which we’ve got by with but we’ve got to start taking responsibilities and dying in their box and we’ll make games more comfortable for ourselves.”

Tonbridge were, however, relieved to come in at the interval on level terms, as Westcott’s ability was an attacking outlet for the West Sussex side throughout.

Winger, Gary Charman’s left-footed drive from 25-yards was diverted wide by former Dover Athletic striker, Gary Rook but Horsham were denied by an excellent save by John just before the break.

Graves’ cross from the right was met by Charman, unmarked inside the box, who rose to power a header towards the bottom left hand corner, but John got down low to push the effort around the post.

Charman then hooked a shot against John’s crossbar following Lee Carney’s resulting corner.

Tonbridge also hit the woodwork, late in the first half, when Barnes’ header looped over Nigel Brake and clipped the top of the right upright following Fraser Logan’s left-footed corner.

With his side travelling to Whyteleafe on Tuesday, followed by home games against Walton Casuals, Bashley and Lymington & New Milton, Dolby demands that his players must start taking their chances.

“Horsham are a very open side, they score and concede a lot of goals and it’s very disappointing not to finish any of the chances we created today,” the dejected manager said.

“But there’s still lots of football to be played. There’s going to be some ups and downs no doubt for all the teams at the top.

“We have to stay patient, stay focused and stay together really.”

Speaking about his side’s lack of goals, he admitted: “It’s a massive problem for us. If you’re not taking your chances you’re going to give an awful lot of work and stress for the backline and we’ve got to look at ourselves. It’s very concerning.”

Horsham: Rob Frankland, Tom Graves, Nigel Brake, Eddie French, Andy Howard, Mark Hawthorne, Lee Carney, John Westcott, Jamie Taylor, Carl Rook, Gary Charman.
Subs: Floran Mateos, Dominik Hudak, Ian Payne, James Cant, Gary Elliott.

Tonbridge Angels: Jerome John, Ray Powell, Danny Glozier, Jon Main (Leroy Huggins 84), Steve Aris (Capt), John Beales, Steve Sodje (Wade Falana 84), Danny Lye, Fraser Logan, Nick Barnes, Jay May (Tony Dolby 62).
Subs: Darren Smith, Danny Ward.

Attendance: 522
Referee: Mr H Lennard (Banstead)
Assistants: Mr G Croft (Battle) & Mr N Bullen (Crawley)