HISTORY was made at the Horsham and District Soccer Club on Sunday.
The senior Falcons defeated Daylesford and Hepburn United Soccer Club 3-2 to claim the club’s first ever senior league minor premiership in division two of the Ballarat and District Soccer Association.
It was a fiery contest, specifically the second half, which saw Daylesford’s Dylan Nulty and Sean Ludeke receive yellow cards and Horsham’s Camilo Velasquez receive a red card.
Horsham started flat footed and allowed Daylesford to pile on the pressure in the opening 20 minutes.
The travellers couldn’t capitalise, with some admiral first-half performances by Horsham goalkeeper Dardareh Maw Kay and centre-back pairing James Hibberd and Jeffery Maasland.
Super-sub Jake Hinton made an immediate impact off the bench, scoring on the 35th minute against the run of play.
Horsham led at the break 1-0.
Horsham coach Elijah Macchia said it wasn’t the first time his team was caught out in the first half.
“It was pleasing to see we could defend so well given the circumstances, but we can’t expect our centre backs and goalkeeper to do all the work,” he said.
The Falcons were caught on the back foot at the restart and conceded two goals between the 51st and 56th minute.
Horsham players flicked a switch after the second goal.
Toby Riddell-Both scored a diving header to draw the teams level on the 58th minute, courtesy of a pinpoint cross by Craig Muller.
Ludeke received the first yellow card on the 69th minute after Marcus Luciani professionally fouled Ludeke.
Ludeke reacted with frustration and tried to choke the young winger.
Luciani had his revenge on the 84th minute; he scored the winning goal from point-blank range after a cut back.
“It was a strange reaction but what’s done is done. Marci scored the winner with great positioning and now we are premiers,” Macchia said.
The game became heated as Daylesford grew frustrated with Horsham. This resulted in an altercation between Velasquez and Nulty on the 89th minute. This saw the Horsham man dismissed for striking.
The red card couldn’t have come at a worse time as Velasquez will now miss the finals campaign.
Macchia said he didn’t see what happened but an appeal would be made.
“At the start of the year, I told the boys I wanted us to finish on the top of the table but it would require hard work and dedication. There were hiccups along the way, but ultimately, we matched them and made club history,” Macchia said.
“I’m proud but the season isn’t over. We need to go back and prepare for finals football, holding a cup at the end of September would be the cherry on the cake.”