Two victories in 19 previous league visits to Horsham YMCA meant that you would have got long odds on Gorings Mead being the place where Hassocks picked up their first win in five and so it proved as they went down 4-1 against their high flying hosts.
It wasn’t just coming away from Horsham with nothing to show for their efforts that represented a sense of déjà vu for the Robins either as, just like in the 3-0 weekend loss at Lancing, the first two goals they conceded to set them on their way to defeat were soft in the extreme.
At Culver Road the defence were hugely culpable for those but here it was referee Jamie Wells who bore the brunt of the visitors complaints for the opener, Dave Brown being allowed to head the ball out of Reece Wickwar’s hands and roll into an empty net without so much as a whistle being blown much to the surprise of most people in the ground.
That decision rocked Hassocks which was a real shame as they had started well and even gone close to taking the lead through Phil Gault’s magnificent effort from 30 yards that just clipped the top of the crossbar with 14 minutes played.
While Brown’s strike could be put down to questionable officiating the goal that doubled YM’s lead four minutes later was a downright farce that could quite happily have been accompanied by the Benny Hill theme tune.
They say when you are struggling that you never get the rub of the green and that was certainly the case for the hosts second of the night as Wickwar made a superb save only to see Dan Jacques’ attempted clearance of the lose ball cannon straight into the back of Josh Hawkes and into the unguarded net for an own goal.
The game was up five minutes after the restart and it was a cruel blow to take as Anthony Hibbert - a former Robin who sits fourth on both the clubs all time appearances and scorers list but who left the club last year in the hope of winning some silverware - tapped in from close range to make it 3-0.
Jamie Hillwood did manage to pull one back for Hassocks when he collected Gault’s lay off on the edge of the box and riffled home past Mark Fox in the YM goal for his second of the campaign.
But the home side added some gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time when left back Dan Evans embarked on a marauding run that he finished in some style.
Hassocks: R Wickwar; Barnes, Marsh, Pitcher, Jacques; Price, Bant, Hawkes, Slaughter, Hillwood; Gault.
Subs: Death, Tighe, Akehurst (used), Wallis, Willett (unused).
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