James Hammond HERO

Hammond hoping history repeats itself

Hastings United vs. Horsham

The final of the Sussex Transport Senior Cup is set to be played on Wednesday 8 May 2024 between Hastings United and Horsham.

Hastings United vs. Horsham
Sussex Transport Senior Cup Final
Date: Wednesday 8 May 2024
Kick-off: 7:30pm
Venue: American Express Stadium, Village Way, Brighton, BN1 9BL

It’s hard to imagine James Hammond picking a better season in which to join Horsham.

An Emirates FA Cup run for the ages, an Isthmian Football League Premier Division play-off Semi-Final and Sussex Transport Senior Cup Final make up a campaign which Hammond personally capped off by being named Managers Player of the Season and Players Player of the Season.

“It’s been an exciting season, and probably the best of my professional career so far,” said Hammond, “the cup runs, and the league season both came as a result of this great bunch of lads, and they’ve been a massive part of making this a really enjoyable year.”

Arriving in this Horsham side means arriving at a pretty settled set-up to say the least, with manager Dom Di Paola having been at the club for close to a decade.

“The structure is already there, so it was easier to embed myself into the team when I arrived, that’s for sure,” said Hammond.

“Horsham have got a consistent way of playing under Dom, and this season we’ve just been able to take it up that bit more and try to push on.”

That style of play has been just one of the contributing factors to Horsham’s remarkable success this season, particularly in the cup competitions, but what else does Hammond put that down to?

“For me it’s the fact that there’s not been a match this season where we haven’t been in a game,” he said, “even the games against Barnsley and Sutton, we were always pushing and fighting in those, so I think there’s a belief in this team that, on our day, anyone can beat anyone.”

That attitude certainly came to the floor in Horsham’s run to the Sussex Transport Senior Cup Final, with impressive wins against Chichester City and Steyning Town Community standing out.

“Steyning certainly gave us a good game, and was probably the toughest game of the run, because they really came at us without any fear, so we had to really think on our feet in that one,” said Hammond.

“The game against Chichester City was tough, especially as we were just coming off the Barnsley game, so to put six past them I think makes that our most impressive win of the run looking back.

“Of course, we can admit that we didn’t have the hardest run, but sometimes you just have to take the luck of the draw in these runs, and with big sides having slipped up in earlier rounds, we knew we still needed to stay switched on if we wanted to make it to the final.”

Looking ahead to the final, and of course it’s familiar Isthmian Football League Premier Division opponents, Hastings United that await them at the Amex Stadium.

“Of we’ve had an edge over them in the league, but a final is a completely different game,” said Hammond, “we can’t afford to think too much about previous results, we just need to be focused on our own style of play and dealing with factors, such as playing at the Amex.”

Unlike some of his fellow players, tomorrow won’t be the first time that Hammond has played and lifted the Sussex Transport Senior Cup at the Amex, having won the competition with Peacehaven & Telscombe back in 2014.

“I was only 17 back then, and if I remember correctly, I only got on for about five minutes!” said Hammond.

“But it was a great occasion and a great game to watch, winning 3-0 against Bognor as we did, so yeah definitely looking forward to getting back there.”

Of course, this time around, Hammond goes into the final as a senior member of the squad, and one tasked with helping end Horsham’s nearly 50 year wait to lift the trophy.

“We’ve had such an incredible season, and for us now, it’s just about keeping the confidence in what we can do and what we know we’re capable of, so hopefully we can just block out that pressure and deliver something special to this great group of fans!”

Tickets can be purchased online from the Brighton & Hove Albion ticket portal. 

£12.00 Adult
£6.00 Under-18 / 65+
£3.00 Official Match Day Programme

For further details about the Sussex Transport Senior Cup please contact:

T: 01903 753547
E: Competitions@SussexFA.com

Photo credit: John Lines

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