Football Management & Technology

Bowers & Pitsea v Horsham: MATCH PREVIEW


The Hornets’ gruelling fixture schedule finds them on the road again tomorrow, this time to Essex for an Isthmian Premier Division match with Bowers & Pitsea.

It will be the fourth time in two weeks that Dom Di Paola’s side have had to travel, after three trips to the capital that racked up over four hundred miles and a ‘reward’ of a solitary point from a 2-2 draw at Wingate & Finchley, and things get no less difficult with the visit to the Len Salmon Stadium where Bowers are unbeaten since the opening week of the season.

Although the club can trace it’s roots back to 1946, Bowers & Pitsea were nominally formed as recently as 2004/05 through Bowers United’s absorption of Pitsea FC. The new club spent eleven seasons in the Essex Senior League before winning the title by two points from Basildon United to earn promotion to the Isthmian League. Having missed out on a place in the play-offs by just three points in their Isthmian debut season, Bowers finished third in 2017/18 only to lose 2-0 to Canvey Island in the play-off semi-final but made no mistake a year later as they romped to the Division One North title by twelve points to clinch step three football for the first time in the club’s history.

Bowers were comfortably placed just below the midway point of the Premier Division when it was terminated early in 2019/20, and again when the following season was brought to an even earlier conclusion, with last season’s completed programme producing a final placing of 16th, with twelve wins and nine draws from their forty-two matches leaving them nine points clear of the bottom three.

The club suffered a number of player departures over the summer, with last season’s top scorer Lewis Manor joining league rivals Potters Bar Town and Mitchell Beeney opting for a move south to the CWCS, but while just one victory this season has them sitting just one point above the dropzone, albeit at this still very early stage of the campaign, draws against Canvey Island, Wingate & Finchley, Cray Wanderers and Kingstonian suggest that James Collins’ side are difficult to beat.

That was certainly the case last season, with the Hornets needing a stoppage time goal from Lee Harding to secure a point from a 1-1 home draw back in January, having gone down to a solitary Max Cornhill goal in Essex the previous September. The closeness of those battles were in stark contrast to the clubs’ first meeting, in November 2019, when Chris Smith bagged a hat-trick in our 4-0 win at the CWCS.

Despite currently occupying sixth spot, the Hornets are winless since the 2-0 defeat of Lewes on September 13th but manager Dom Di Paola has been quick to play down concerns at his side’s recent run of form. “I’m not massively happy with the first quarter of the season but I think a bit of perspective is needed. We’ve had a tough run of away games but I feel like we’ve played some good stuff at times.

“I thought we put in an excellent second half at Enfield on Tuesday and, on Saturday (a 2-0 home loss to Bishop’s Stortford), we had two efforts come back off the woodwork and another two cleared off the line. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to capitalise on the periods where we’ve been dominant.”

Horsham could be boosted by the return to action of Tom Richards and Doug Tuck after injury, while Mitch Beeney will make his first return to the Len Salmon Stadium since his summer switch to Horsham.

A limited number of seats are available to travel with the players tomorrow, departing the Park & Ride at 11:15am. Just email or call 01403 458854 to reserve your seat, priced at just £15 return. With a national rail strike expected to effect plans this weekend, our luxury coach is an easy and hassle-free way for supporters to travel to the match but for those choosing to remain at home, make sure you follow all the action via twitter @horshamfc.


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