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Home   /   AS IT HAPPENED: Sussex Transport Senior Cup Final – Hastings United vs Horsham

Hello, I’m Ollie Stidder, and welcome back to this live blog. Tonight’s fixture takes place at the American Express Stadium, where teams such as Ajax and Roma have set foot on but this time two local teams go head-to-head in the Sussex Transport Senior Cup Final where Horsham take on Hastings United.

Horsham won both league meetings when they met earlier in the season, so will be hoping to keep that 100% record in what is the most important of the three games. They’ll also feel they need to end the season on a high, after what Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola called a ‘real sickener’ of a game in their playoff penalty defeat against Chatham Town.

The Hornets make 2 changes from their Playoff loss, as Shamir Fenelon and Lee Harding come in for Jack Mazzone and Isaac Philpot.
Hastings make six changes to the lineup which started in the 0-0 against Canvey. They would’ve had more of a rest, let’s see if it shows.

Just to add, neither of these teams have won since the 20th century, with The U’s last winning it in 1998, and The Hornets in 1976.

Both sets of fans are up for this, coming out in their numbers as they see their teams play at a Premier League stadium.

1′ : Referee Daniel D’Urso blows his whistle and we’re underway.

3′: Hastings have adapted really well to the width of the pitch, having all the possession, and win a corner after some nice wing play from John Ufuah.

6′ : GOALLLLLLLLL! The Hornets lead through Reece Myles-Meekums.

Horsham finally get the ball down after a scrappy passage of play and Myles-Meekums is slipped through by Lucas Rodrigues on the left hand side and does brilliantly to curl the ball past Charlie Grainger into the far corner from just inside the box . 1-0 Horsham.

12′ : Hastings haven’t really caused much going forward, but have another corner, where the ball falls down to Hastings captain Adam Lovatt who shanks a wild effort miles over the bar.

14′ : WHY DIDN’T HE SHOOT? Horsham do well again to nick the ball high up the pitch and Shamir Fenelon looks to be in on goal, however he tries to square it to Daniel Ajakaiye but the pass is just behind him, they look to rework the attack and get a corner for their efforts.

18′ : Horsham use the same combination which worked for the first goal, as Meekums is slipped through once more, this time he decides to cross and it goes through a crowd of bodies before Hastings can regain possession, however they’ve looked like the only team scoring so far.

23′ : The Hastings fans have been relentless, there hasn’t been a moment where you haven’t heard them, they finally get forward and have a free kick on the right side, however they fail to create once more.

25′ : What has happened there, the lively Rodrigues slips Fenelon down the right side he gets to the byline and his cross is only cleared into the path of James Hammond but Myles-Meekums also went for the ball and they subsequently got in each others way. Big chance again for Horsham, will this come back to bite them?

28′ : Hastings forward Davide Rodari has hardly had a sniff, quick reminder he has scored 34 goals in all competitions this season.


It all started from a free kick, where Hammond played a delightful ball to Meekums the ball is reworked to the far side where Harding’s cross is headed back across goal by Rodrigues for Shamir Fenelon to head past a helpless Grainger. Half-time can’t come soon enough for the U’s.

38′ : YELLOW CARD! A freekick in a dangerous position for Hastings and a yellow card for Jack Brivio, who chopped Rodari down 25 yards from goal.

39′ : Lovatt’s free kick flies over the bar.

42′ : Lee Harding goes on one of his marauding runs before finding Fenelon with his back to goal, he spins past Sam Gale with ease, but he shot is saved well by Grainger.

43′ : Out of nothing Hastings almost get one back, Freddie Legg does well to find a cross where a Horsham head goes to Sam Adams, who is only stopped by a brilliant tackle from Jack Strange.

45′ : 3 minutes added on. Adam Lovatt is booked for a late challenge on Myles-Meekums.

HALF-TIME : Hastings United 0-2 Horsham

An eventful half ends, with Horsham by far the happier of the two sides, Hastings have been really poor and deserve to be in this position. Manager Chris Agutter has a huge task of getting them back in this game. As for Horsham, they’ll be after the next goal and from there it’s all about game management.

46′ : Back Underway, Both sides remain unchanged.

47′ : OFF THE POST AND THEN WIDE! I take my eye away for one second and then Horsham almost extend their lead, by the sounds of it they hit the post but about 20 seconds after Ajakaiye is sent through, the angle is tight and shows as his shot is dragged well wide.

49′ : YELLOW CARD! Jamal Lubanga pulls back Lee Harding after he bundled his way through 2 players, free kick just outside the box for Horsham.

52′ : Hastings come forward and Ufuah’s cross forces Carey to tip over. The corner is cleared but they once again find Ufuah who skips past his man and his cross goes out for another corner.

55′ : Very Eventful! Barker picks up a yellow card.

The subsequent free kick is dealt with and Horsham turn defence into attack with Myles-Meekums getting in behind and rounding the goalkeeper but cannot sort his feet out to finish into the empty net.

60′ : A big boo from the Horsham supporters as JJ Walker seemed to have pushed Rodrigues over after he held onto the ball after he gave away a foul. A dull five minutes, who would’ve thought?

65′ : Hastings remain toothless in attack, with Freddie Legg giving a foul away despite him having possession, surely Agutter has to start looking to the bench.

67′ YELLOW CARD! Horsham break after a Hastings corner and Sam Gale recklessly chops down Philpot.


Right after the free kick, Ajakaiye finds himself in on goal after being sent through brilliantly by Fenelon and slots it past Grainger into the bottom left corner to put Horsham in dreamland, surely that seals it.

70′ : The Olés start to ring around the Amex, as Horsham keep possession and it ends up with Ajakaiye firing wide, but it wouldn’t have counted anyway with the offside flag going up.

73′ : Rodari sees yellow for a late challenge on Hammond.

75′ : WHAT A CHANCE! Ufuah sends a delightful cross to the far post to Tommie Fagg who can only head over from 6 yards or so. That would’ve made things a lot more interesting.

77′ : A lovely reverse pass from Rodrigues finds Ajakaiye down the right flank, his low cross is well cut out by Walker at the back post.

83′ : All about game management now for Horsham. They’ve replaced both frontmen to get some more energy to make sure nothing Hastings do is too easy from now.

85′ : 4869 is the attendance here at the Amex, a really good turnout from two ‘non-league sides’.

89′ : Hastings finally work an opportunity, Ufuah does what he does best and beats his man, cuts in and lays it off to Adams and then one more to Fagg whose drive sails narrowly wide.

90′ : Into five additional minutes, Horsham are minutes away from ending their season on a high.

90+2′ : Despite being 3-0 down, the Hastings fans remain upbeat (I think) but they’ve had a great journey, even beating Eastbourne Borough, who play in the Vanarama National League South.

90+4′ : The final chance goes to Hastings but Adams sperns it and his effort goes well over.

FULL TIME: Hastings United 0-3 Horsham – Horsham are Champions of Sussex for the first time in over 40 years.

A dominant display from the Hornets ends in triumph, battering a very poor Hastings side. The U’s were two down by Half time after goals from Meekums and Fenelon. Then Horsham top scorer Ajakaiye put the icing on the cake, capping off a dominant performance with an effort 20 minutes from time. As for me thank you for tuning in and see you again very soon.

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May 2024