Clinical Seagulls too much for Hornets
Brighton & Hove Albion will play Worthing in the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Final after their 3-1 Semi-Final win over Horsham on Tuesday night.
Goals from Zak Emmerson, Andy Moran and Zak Wilson gave the Seagulls the win, with Shannon Ruth’s side managing to hold on to the win despite Horsham’s valiant late rally. This included a wonderful consolation goal from centre-back Thomas Day.
The first ten minutes brought not a great deal of action, with the only real threats coming for Horsham from a Tom Richards cross and a few minutes later an effort from Shamir Fenelon that blazed over the bar. Brighton’s first real chance came from Moran, who capitalised on a defensive error, but his effort was denied by goalkeeper Samuel Howes.
Horsham then came back into at as Richards found Thomas Kavanagh. He cut inside and hit a curling low effort into the bottom right corner, only to be denied by Brighton goalkeeper James Beadle. Lee Harding failed to get his effort on target from the rebound. Dominic Di Paola’s team continued to threaten as Harding drew a free kick near the right corner flag.
It was taken by Richards, but Fenelon’s header went left of the post. Brighton had their chances and Jack Hinshelwood should have done a lot better on the end of a set piece. However, it didn’t take them long to make up for this as they took the lead on the half-hour mark through Emmerson.
The move started after a mistake from Harding, whose misplaced pass allowed Emmerson through on goal and Brighton‘s number 9 did not waste his opportunity with a cool, composed finished round Howes.
Both sides had their chances before the end of the first-half. Brighton almost made it 2-0 when Morgan played in former F.C. Porto and West Ham youth product Benecio Baker-Poaitey, but he could only hit it straight at Howes. Kavanagh then hit a dipping effort on goal for Horsham from range, but it was just over the bar.
Brighton would then double their lead just before half time when Baker-Poaitey showed why he has played for such prestigious clubs. With some excellent footwork, his cross found Moran in the penalty area, whose shot beat Howes and into the top left corner. Emmerson really should have doubled his tally and made it 3-0 but he somehow missed the target from close range in an effort that seemed harder to miss than score.
The second half started in a fast and frantic manner, without neither team creating any clear-cut chances early on. Brighton were in the lead and appeared to gain more control the more the second half went on. However, a rare lapse in judgement defensively from Brighton put Horsham’s Fenelon through on goal, but his effort went over the bar. They soon had another chance as Harding’s cross met the head of Charlie Hester-Cook, but the substitute could only header the ball straight at Beadle.
Horsham were made to pay for their missed opportunities as Wilson got on the end of a low cross from right-back Casper Nilsson in the 79th minute to make it 3-0. This seemed to wake Horsham up as they had the better of the opportunities in what remained of the game Fellow substitutes Charlie Harris and Eddie-Louis Dsane were involved heavily late on for Horsham, with several efforts on goal testing Beadle.
The Brighton goalkeeper could not stop the effort from Day, whose effort impressed the 557 that were in attendance. Beadle was tested by another excellent Hawkins corner, but the ball wasn’t cleared as it fell to Day and his acrobatic effort found the roof of the net. Emmerson had the chance to seal the game shortly after for the Seagulls, but his low driven effort was agonisingly wide.
In the end, Brighton were the deserving winners. Horsham brought great support with them and saved their best football for the end but at this stage, it was too late.
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
Brighton & Hove Albion: Beadle, Nilsson, Sturge, Hinshelwood, McConville, Hinchy, Baker-Boaitey, Chouchane, Emmerson, Moran, Wilson.
Subs: Furlong, Reid, Peupion, Miller, Spong.
Match Report by Andy Davies