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Rocks held – but you have to ad-Mit that was quite a debut goal

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A superb goal by debut-making striker Tyrell Mitford salvaged a point for the Rocks – but they will look back on their 1-1 draw with Horsham believing they had the chances to take all three points.

Mitford, a former QPR youngster signed the same day, came off the bench to fire in a spectacular angled shot with little more than ten minutes left and might have added a couple more after that as a host of Bognor chances went wide or were kept out.

The point at least gets the Rocks off the mark for the season – while Horsham, who’d gone ahead late in the first half through Rob O’Toole, will have gone home reasonably happy with their second point from two games

Bognor’s first home game of the Isthmian premier season brought newly promoted Horsham to Nyewood Lane, with the Rocks keen to put their opening-day loss at Bishop’s Stortford behind them quickly.

Bognor gave a start to one player signed on the day of the game and had another on the bench.

Brighton academy defender Ben Clark-Eden started in place of Joe Dandy, while Mitford, a striker who came through the QPR academy system, was a sub.

There were also full debuts for keeper Charlie Searle – replacing Pompey’s Petar Durin – and ex-Pagham striker Dan Simmonds.

Horsham are back at Isthmian premier level after a seven-year absence and began their campaign with a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Leatherhead.

The first attack of purpose came from the Rocks seven minutes in when Jimmy Muitt – playing a deeper role than usual with Simmonds up front alongside Dan Smith – sending in a cross from the right for Stuart Green, who couldn’t direct his header on target.

Horsham looked dangerous going forward but Searle and his defence dealt with everything thrown at them early on.

Green surged through the middle and played the ball into Smith – it deflected into Simmonds’ path and he almost diverted it in.

Searle was called into the action at the other end to save a Charlie Harris shot. Then James Crane got forward for a low shot that wasn’t far off target but didn’t trouble Horsham stopper George Bentley.

Tommy Leigh sent a 25-yard shot well wide of the target just psst the midway point of the half.

Lee Harding got into the box after a flick-on but his shot was straight at Searle. Then Horsham looked certain to take the lead when Harris was played clear in the area but his curling right-footed effort was well stopped by Searle. Immediately Muitt drew a fine save from Bentley as the game opened up.

Smith wasted the best chance of the first half on 37 minutes when he ran on to his own flick down the left and cut into the box but had his fierce low shot saved by Bentley’s legs.

Crane was booked for simulation with fiveminutes of the first half left after going down as he tried to hold the ball up in the Horsham area.

Searle dashed out to deny Lavery when Jerry O’Sullivan put him through, then Sealr was beaten by a header but it went just the wrong side of the foot of the post.

Horsham took the lead when O’Toole headed in a right-sided corner which, in truth, the Rocks had conceded after putting themselves under unnecessary pressure. Clark-Eden was booked after the goal for handballing the header on the line and at the break, a number of Bognor players were complaining to the referee.

HT 0-1

Jack Brivio replaced Harding at the start of the second half for Horsham.

Newton had an opening for a second Hornets goal five minutes into the second half but he took too long about it and his eventual shot was weak.

In response Bognor tried to build a bit of pressure and Crane fired a rasping shot at goal that flew off a defender for a corner.

Alex Kelly replaced Harris for the Hornets just before the hour.

Another golden chance went begging for the Rocks on 62. Mitford turned his man on halfway ran through on goal. When a defender closed him down he squared it to Smith but by the time he had composed himself for the shot, the goalkeeper had narrowed the angle and saved.

Newton was booked for a clssh on the touchline with Muitt which had actually ended up with the pair hugging. Then Whyte was booked for a strong challenge on Kelly.

The home pressure kept coming and when Smith dribbled to the byline and cut the ball back to Ashton Leigh, he was blocked and Tommy Leigh sent the loose ball over the bar.

Another series of corners put Horsham under the cosh and from one, Muitt’s delivery was met by Smith’s head and it needed a header off the line. Dawson was booked for preventing the Rocks taking a quick free kick in the centre circle.

Smith was booked for blocking Bentley as he tried to take a goal kick.

Eventually the Rocks’ pressure told – in spectacular style. The ball was played short to sub Mitford as Bognor attacked down the left, he controlled it and cut inside and from just outside the box sent a superb drive beyonfd the keeper and into the far corner.

Within a minute the Rocks had almost surrendered the lead but sub Brivio’s shot, bound for the top corner, was clawed away by Searle.

Mitford fancied a second and went past a defender and shot inches over – then Smith, instead of going for goal himself, squared for Mitford whose low shot was superbly kept out by Bentley. It was a frenetic end to the game in stark contrast to a first half that had at times been insipid.

Mitford missed another chance on 84 minutes when he headed over from ten yards as a left-sided cross was nodded on to him.

Dawson was replaced by George Hayward with five minutes left. Horsham might have retaken the lead on 87 minutes but a low ball in from the right was missed by everyone.

Bognor’s fans were shouting for a penalty when a Horsham player’s clearance seemed to hit a team-mate’s hands but it was not given. Tommy Leigh sent a low shot through a crowd of players but Bentley got down well to it.

Rocks: Searle, Crane, A Leigh, T Leigh, Clark-Eden, Wood, Whyte, Green, Smith, Muitt, Simmonds. Subs: Scutt, Dunn, Williamson, Mitford, Durin.

Horsham: Bentley, O’Sullivan, Metcalf, Dawson, Shelley, Merchant-Simmonds, Lavery, Harris, O’Toole, Harding, Newton. Subs: Miles, Hayward, Brivio, Kelly, Smith.

Ref: Tristan Davies

Att – 545

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Crawley Town v Port Vale: Reds hunt for first league win since October

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John Yems will take charge of his first home game as Crawley Town head coach this Saturday as the Reds entertain Port Vale.

Yems’ first game in charge ended in a 0-0 draw with Stevenage, in a game that Crawley would’ve felt they had the better chances to win the game.

Bez Lubala had the best chance to win it for Crawley as he raced in one on one, took it round the keeper only to lose his footing as he faced the open goal.

Ashley Nadesan also had a good chance to win it for Crawley in the first half as he raced in one on one but his left footed shot was a tame effort, which was comfortable for Stevenage keeper Paul Farman.

This week Crawley will look to go one better and pick up a victory at the People’s Pension Stadium but know they’ll be in for a tough task against a Port Vale side who sit tenth in League Two and just a few points off the play-offs.

Vale have been much improved this season following a poor campaign for them last season. However, so far this season it has been the away form which has let Port Vale down, as they’ve picked up just nine points on the road out of a possible 30 so far this season.

Compared to their 19 points out of a possible 30 on home soil it’s a very poor record for Vale and one they’ll be looking to change if they are to have a chance of claiming a play-off position this season.

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Despite their poor form on the road their only two wins away from home this season have come against teams in the play-off places, in the form of Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City. This shows that Port Vale are a good side and Crawley will have to be back to their best in order to pick up a much needed three points.

Crawley need to return back to winning ways, as they haven’t picked up a victory in the league since the 2-1 win over Colchester United back on October 12.

That’s over two months since Crawley tasted league victory in what’s been an extremely poor run for the side.

However, last week their were some promising signs out of John Yems first game, despite him only having two days to work with the squad before matchday.

Crawley can only build on and improve from their performance last week and look to end 2019 picking up some more points and beginning to climb the table again.

Yems has said the whole squad will be used over this Christmas period, which produces lots of games for Crawley, so their could be a few changes to the line-up as Yems looks to establish his strongest starting eleven.

Crawley will be looking to grab a much needed victory to boost the squads morale and give the players and fans a much needed confidence boost heading into this busy fixture period.

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Crawley Town

Crawley Town ‘confident’ Port Vale game will go ahead as normal following speculation

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Crawley Town are confident there game against Port Vale on Saturday go ahead despite speculation there is ‘chaos’ at the club, according to a source.

The club this week terminated the contract of operations director Kelly Derham and the news has caused unrest amongst the fans and reportedly the staff.

The Straight Red CTFC podcast tweeted today: “ Inside source: “Chaos” at Crawley, Staff threaten walkout, No stadium safety approval, Match could be played behind closed doors Saturday. What. Is. Happening ”

But when when we approached the club for a comment, a source told us that that there would a safety check in the morning, which is normal procedure and they are ‘confident it will be fine’.

The source at the club also told the Crawley Observer: “There was no staff walkout at all. As all staff members are in jobs and will be for foreseeable future. The safety group will meet in the morning for the game.”

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Horsham to celebrate amazing year with fun-filled family day

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Horsham will be marking the festive season, and celebrating an incredible year with a ‘Christmas Bonanza’ at The Camping World Community Stadium this Saturday.

2019 has been a remarkable year for the Hornets having earned promotion into the Isthmian Premier for the first time in seven years with a 2-1 play-off final win over Ashford United.

They have also moved into their own ground for the first time since 2008 and are enjoying life in the Premier, currently sitting in third.

Kicking off proceedings at 1.45pm, the club are hosting a children’s party in which all youngsters will receive a gift from Howie the Hornet, generously provided by Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have the opportunity to create Christmas tree decorations and have a dance at the junior disco.

The main event takes place at 3pm when the Hornets face East Thurrock United as they look to return to winning ways. Supporters are invited to stay behind in the clubhouse for food, music, and to watch Southampton v West Ham United on the big screen.

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The new social membership cards, which supporters can use for discounts at the bar and club shop, and for function room bookings, will be in use from Saturday’s game onwards.

Full season and half-season ticket holders can get theirs for free. Find out how to apply on horshamfc.co.uk.

The club are also welcoming non-perishable food donations as part of it’s appeal in aid of The Trussell Trust – a nationwide network of more than 1,200 food banks that provide emergency food and support to people in poverty.

If you can help with a donation, please come along on Saturday and pass your items to members of Horsham’s Youth squads who will be collating the collection.

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