THE Horsham Falcons have secured a spot in the Ballarat and District Soccer Association’s division two grand final in a thrilling contest on Sunday.
The Falcons met Daylesford and Hepburn United in the preliminary final at Ballarat’s Morshead Stadium.
Horsham had the best possible start, scoring through Noah Talbot who calmly slotted the ball low into the corner.
The goal came against the run of play after 15 minutes.
Daylesford and Hepburn then found a stunning equaliser through a Hiroshi Masuda volley.
The ball floated into the top right corner, leaving Horsham goalkeeper Elijah Macchia with no chance.
Less than 10 minutes later, the Falcons were back out to a lead after winger July Htoo was illegally brought down in the box, earning a penalty.
Horsham midfielder Craig Muller was clinical from the penalty spot, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner.
After the half-time break, the scores were quickly level after another Masuda gem – this time a low strike from outside the box that beat Macchia at the near post.
The sides could not be separated in 90 minutes, and tensions increased as the game went into extra time.
Both sides were nervy in the first half of extra time, with few chances created.
In the second period of extra time, the Falcons pushed for the winning goal and found it with 10 minutes left to play.
Horsham midfielder Reuben Macchia supplied a pinpoint corner ball that found the head of Muller, who scored his second goal and ensured the Falcons a spot in the decider.
Daylseford and Hepburn had one last attacking burst and almost equalised with the ball ricocheting off the post.
The Falcons hung on for a memorable victory, earning a grand final spot against Forest Rangers.
The game will be played on Saturday at Morshead Park at 2pm.
The senior Falcons will be joined by the under-15s division two side, who won through to the grand final after defeating Victoria Park Red on penalties.
It was another enthralling contest – one that finished 5-5 after extra time.