Greenwich Borough had the chance to close the gap on the top two, but suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Horsham in the Isthmian Division One South on Saturday.
The contest started off in a slow and scrappy manner, perhaps owing to the bitter, blustery conditions in Greenwich, with both sides struggling to fashion any chances of note.
Horsham had a sight of goal just before the half-hour mark. A long punt forward from the Hornets goalkeeper Brannon Daly found striker Dean Brown, with the forward trying a speculative shot from 20 yards. Opposition keeper George Kamurasi was equal to the attempt and tipped the ball round the post.
Unexpectedly, this would be Kamurasi’s last positive impact on the game for the home side. On 31 minutes, he was shown a straight red card by referee Graeme Ions for handling the ball outside the area.
Down to 10 men, manager Gary Alexander opted for a more defensive approach, bringing on centre back Liam Hickey to go in goal in place of winger Kaka Dembele. Clearly buoyed by the dismissal of Kamurasi, Horsham took full advantage. With 10 minutes to go until the interval, Joe Shelley powered home a bullet header past the stranded Hickey from an in-swinging George Landais corner to put the Hornets 1-0 up.
With two minutes to go until the half-time whistle, Horsham defender Jack Hartley embarked on a terrific run, beating a number of Greenwich players in the process, only to be denied a first league goal for the club, thanks in no small part to a last-ditch tackle from the Cannons’ aptly named holding midfielder Dean Gunner.
Akin to the first half, the start of the second period began slowly. Former Leyton Orient man Bradley Pritchard drew Horsham’s Daly into a good save before the hour mark, seeing his looping header from the edge of the box expertly tipped over the crossbar.
With 30 minutes left to play, Hickey showed his goalkeeping talents, getting down well to save from a Toby House shot after the substitute beat the offside trap to get in behind the Greenwich defence.
However Hickey’s heroics were not to last. With just over 20 minutes to go, Scott Harris doubled Horsham’s lead following a good initial touch, coupled with a driving run that resulted in his shot going through the hands of Hickey. Unlucky for the stand-in goalkeeper.
Five minutes from time and Horsham had the chance to put the game to bed, however House failed to capitalise on a counter attack and drew Hickey into another respectable save.
The pressure is on
A bad day at the office for Greenwich Borough, compounded by the top two of Corinthian-Casuals and Lewes both getting points on the board.
Boro will perhaps be looking over their shoulders a little nervously as well after play-off contenders Cray Wanderers and Carshalton Athletic wrapped up emphatic 7-0 and 4-0 victories respectively.
Greenwich Borough starting XI: Kamurasi; Paul, Fitzsimons (King-Elliott 75’), Gunner, Clark; Gregory, Sammoutis (MacDonald 27’), Fuseini, Pritchard (C), Dembele (Hickey 32’); Barham.
Subs not used: Phillips, Shonibare.
Horsham starting XI: Daly; Duncan, Hyde, Hartley, Shelley; Metcalf, Harris, Kirkwood (C), Landais (Boswell 79’); Brown (House 60’), Street (MacDevitt 60’).
Subs not used: Adelakun, Boiling.