Horsham extended their unbeaten run to seven games as they completed the double over local rivals Three Bridges this evening.
A brace from George Gaskin, coming from an early first-half strike and second in added time, was the difference between the two sides at a frosty Gorings Mead.
It saw the in-form Hornets climb a place to 11th while Bridges remain second from bottom in the table after their 20th defeat of the campaign, despite an improved second-half showing.
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola made three changes from the side that beat Dorking Wanderers 2-0 on Saturday as Jordan Clark, George Branford and Ollie Gill all return to the starting XI.
Despite Bridges going into the game with an extended rest after their clash with Hastings on Saturday was postponed, Horsham started the brighter.
They had the first chance as Charlie Farmer’s cross from the right found Gaskin in space, but he got underneath the ball and couldn’t direct his header on target. From the same attack, Ollie Gill showed neat feet on the edge of the box, but the chance was eventually blocked.
The hosts led after seven minutes as the danger wasn’t cleared from a Gill cross and the ball came back off some generous defending from Steve Sargent to Gaskin, who turned and tucked into the far corner.
Bridges’ first chance came on 18 minutes as they were awarded a free kick central to goal and 22 yards out, but Josh Pelling comfortably held Sargent’s set-piece.
Paul Faili’s side enjoyed a good spell of possession leading up the half-hour mark, but they failed to break through the home back-line despite some tidy passing.
Gaskin meanwhile, after winning a free kick wide on the left, tried his luck with an overhead effort as the set-piece was delivered, but it fell a few yards wide on the right-hand post.
Nine minutes before the break, Dan Mobsby got the run on the Horsham back four from a corner, but despite rising well glanced his header wide.
Bridges also saw Michael Wilson air shot on the edge of the box as Abu Touray teed him up, while at the other end Kieron Thorp got down well to hold Gaskin’s effort on the hard surface.
Bridges made two half-time substitutes as Kieran Djilali and Hakem Adelakun replacing Kylen Mundle-Smith and Deven Fender, while Horsham brought Tony Nwachukwu on for Darren Boswell.
Thorp pulled off a fabulous one-handed save three minutes into the second half as he pushed up Gill’s point-blank header from Tom Lawley’s cross and Gill’s attempted overhead follow-up didn’t come off.
On the hour-mark a neat move saw Lawley dummy for Gaskin on the left and he cut the ball back for Clark, but his curled attempt was straight at Thorp.
Five minutes later, Pelling was down well as Tony Garrod’s effort skidded off the surface and towards the bottom corner.
The hosts turned up the pressure, playing plenty of dangerous balls across the box as Horsham continually gave the ball away, but failed to punish the home side.
With two minutes left, Pelling got a good hand to push away Maixime Agnoly’s goalbound effort after a scramble, while moments later Djilali sprung to offside trap and put wide, with Bridges boss Faili fuming that a corner should have been awarded.
Horsham had a couple of half chances on the break and eventually Gaskin made the game safe in the third minute of stoppage time as Lawley headed the ball down to him in the box after skewed clearance.
Horsham: Pelling, Duncan, Jones, Clark, Farmer, Boswell (Newachukwu 45, Rogers 87), Gill (Kirkwood 63), Branford, Harris, Lawley, Gaskin. Unused subs: Sackman, Hyde.
Three Bridges: Thorp, Pierre, Lansdale, Mobsby, Whitehead, Fender (Adelakun 45), Wilson, Sargent, Touray (Agnoly 68), Mundle-Smith (Djilali 45), Garrod. Unused subs: Peters, Hayles.
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