Town Clip Hornets’ Wings

Enfield Town 2 Horsham 1

Report From Andrew warshaw

All wins are vital but some have that special ring about them – and Saturday was surely among the latter.

With games in hand after their FA Cup and FA Trophy exploits, Horsham arrived at the QE firmly in the playoff places and unbeaten in the league away from home in 2024.

So ending that sequence courtesy of our demon duo Marcus Wyllie and Sam Youngs, in the process leapfrogging the Hornets to move up three places in the table to third, says everything about the togetherness of Town’s come-from-behind display.

Added to last weekend’s win over Lewes, it was even more important given our ferocious upcoming fixture list, with Tuesday’s Fenix Trophy game followed by – wait for it – five league games in 11 days.

Adopting a 4-1-4-1 system, Town began on the front foot but found themselves chasing the game on 19 minutes.

Lewis Taaffe appeared to be clearly fouled by Horsham skipper Lee Harding but when nothing was given, Harding found Daniel Ajakaiye, Horsham’s most dangerous player, who got the better of Taylor Mackenzie and finished coolly.

As we responded quickly, Ollie Knight saw his looping header just clear the bar with keeper Lewis Carey wong-footed but on 31 minutes we were level.

Joe Payne opted to go short with a throw-in and when he received the ball back from Scott Thomas put in a delicious cross that was expertly glanced home by Marcus Wyllie for his 22nd league goal of the season, putting him level at the top of the charts with David Rodari of Hastings.

The next goal proved all-important. With  virtually the last kick of the half, Carey spilled Payne’s low freekick and when Wyllie clipped the ball back in, Youngs headed into to an unguarded net.

H-T 2-1

Horsham had a great chance to level with the first move of the second half following a rare mistake by the otherwise imperious Bernie Tanner, a candidate for man of the match.

Luckily, Harding chose the wrong option, declining to go for goal and squaring to Ajakaiye who got his feet in a tangle.

Marcus so nearly made the visitors pay, first drilling a shot inches wide, then just unable to convert a glorious Youngs pass as the flag stayed down.

The game was now beautifully poised and although Horsham had a 15-minute spell late on, they didn’t pass the ball well enough and their attacks were invariably closed down.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Jake Cass, who came off the bench for the last three minutes after seven and half months out with that crippling injury.

It was heart in the mouth stuff when Isaac Philpott almost cleaned him out with a horrendous challenge that saw yellow instead of red. Luckily Jake saw it coming and managed to turn away, then almost completed what would have been the perfect return by having a goalbound shot blocked in stoppage time (pictured).

“I said before if we kept standards high, we could win the game and psychogically it’s a huge boost being in front of teams like Billericay ,” said Gavin Macpherson. “We are massively achieving but  I don’t get too high with highs or too low with the lows.”

“To see Cassy back was immense.  He may not yet be fully fit and we have to treat it very carefully but his very presence on the pitch and in the dressing room gives everyone a lift.”

“Now it’s a question of how we navigate Llantwit Major on Tuesday because we don’t want to undo what we’ve been doing in the league when we’re back action again two days later.”


Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Tanner, Payne; Thomas (Alves 64); Adjei-Hersey (cass, 87), Taaffe, youngs, Knight; Wyllie