Saturday’s victory at Hastings proved a welcome return to the league for Wingate & Finchley as we held on for all 3 points in a nervy second half on the South coast. A few disappointing cup results in recent weeks threatened to put a blemish on what has otherwise been a very solid start to the campaign, particularly in the Isthmian Premier League. Tuesday’s opponents have had opposite fortunes and on Saturday were victorious against National League side Dorking Wanderers to put them into the FA Cup first round proper.
Horsham were promoted into the Isthmian Premier League in 2018-19 thanks to an extra time play-off victory over Ashford United. Since joining this level they haven’t looked back with solid performances during two COVID-impacted seasons followed by 11th in 2021-22 and 7th last season, narrowly missing out on a playoff place by only 2 points. They will be looking to go one better this season.
This season, Horsham currently sit in 13th place after 4 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats from their 7 matches so far. One of the highlights of their season so far was a 90th minute winner in a 3-2 thriller in front of over 1,000 at home against Dulwich Hamlet in August however this was followed by a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Whitehawk just 2 days later. They do have plenty of games in hand, however, after their exploits in both FA Cup and FA Trophy which they will be hoping to emulate and push themselves up the league.
Head To Head
Horsham took the spoils in our most recent fixture, winning 2-0 in West Sussex in February after late drama where a missed Blues penalty in the 90th minute was followed by a converted penalty and a rapid second goal for Horsham in time added on at the end of the 90. We have had more luck at the Maurice Rebak Stadium in recent encounters, however, with a 2-2 draw last season and a convincing 3-0 home victory in 2021-22 with second half goals from Dylan Kearney and a brace from Isaac Tshipamba.
Last Time Out
Horsham haven’t played in the Isthmian Premier League for almost a month, with their last game being a 0-0 draw vs Billericay on 23rd September. Since then, however, the club have progressed into the first round proper of the FA Cup thanks to victories against Hanworth Villa (3-1) and an excellent 2-0 victory against National League side Dorking Wanderers on Saturday in front of a sellout home crowd. The club have also progressed into the first round of the FA Trophy after a 2-0 win against Brightlingsea Regent.
The Blues, have had opposite fortunes, after early exits from the FA Cup and FA Trophy, however recorded an excellent 3-2 victory against playoff hopefuls Hastings United on Saturday. Elliot Long notched an excellent hat trick either side of half time, only for Hastings to score two quick goals before the hour mark to ensure a nervy last half hour. The Blues defence held on resolutely, however, and came back with all 3 points.
Players To Watch
Horsham’s goals this season have been spread throughout the side but striker Daniel Ajakaiye has bagged two in his last two games and will be looking to add to his total tally of 5 goals so far this season as well as his 14 last season. Meanwhile ex-QPR academy graduate Jack Strange is a goal threat from centre back with 3 goals so far this campaign.
For the Blues, Elliot Long scored an excellent hat-trick at the weekend and will be looking to continue his fine form, while versatile midfielder Manny Yeboah also impressed on Saturday.
Tickets are £12 for adults (£8 for concessions, and FREE for U18s), and we look forward to welcoming you as the Blues look to record back-to-back victories in the league. Come on you Blues!