Di Paola praises players as Horsham go second

Football, Southern Combination Premier Division: Horsham v Littlehampton. Pic Steve Robards   SR1600739 SUS-160901-182014001
Football, Southern Combination Premier Division: Horsham v Littlehampton. Pic Steve Robards SR1600739 SUS-160901-182014001

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola said he was extremely pleased with his players as victory against Littlehampton saw them climb up to second in the Premier Division.

Goals from Terry Dodd and an injury-time strike by Kieron Pamment saw them to a 2-0 victory at a rain-soaked Gorings Mead.

Even more pleasing was that they had to play for ten men for much of the second half after a harsh red card to Dodd - before the numbers were evened up in the last ten minutes, when Peter Beadle was also dismissed.

Di Paola praised their landlords for getting the game on in a rain-effected day which saw Lancing take over at the top with Eastbourne Town’s game off.

He said: “I thought first half we played really well and I don’t think Gareth (Williams) has really had a save to make.

“We managed to hold them off. It’s always a bit fiery for us with them and I don’t know why, but it always is.

“I was pleased. I thought we played quite well to the game plan for the most of it and then when we went down to ten men, I thought we were quite solid.

“We played possession and kept the ball well, which is great, it’s what you should do with ten men. I was pleased with everyone to be honest.

“I was surprised they played with five at the back as George (Gaskin) is normally quite attacking being a striker himself, but maybe they have done that to try and frustrate us a bit.

“To be honest, I think we should have had a couple more in the first half. Jon Hendrick made a good save and there were a couple more potentially to go further ahead.

“Overall, it was a really good win and I am really pleased.

“It wasn’t going to be easy and obviously with the pitch and conditions, it was quite tricky and second half it wasn’t really a game of football.

“But fair play to the groundsman for getting the game on. Up until the second batch of rain it was really playable.

“A lot of games were off so credit to the Horsham YMCA guys for getting the game on.”

On the red cards, Di Paola added: “I think they were both yellows and a half, but he is a young referee. If you want to keep the game interesting then you book them both.

“I thought both were bookings. I think the reactions for both have got them both sent off, but I didn’t think Doddsy one was any worse than the one on Hunty, but he didn’t role around on the floor.

“George was hurt, so I am not saying he dived or anything silly like that, it was a clear foul, but I don’t think the game needed that many cards.

“On a wet pitch, I think the refs sometimes need to keep that in mind, but I am not criticising. It’s quite a hard game to ref between us and them, it always is.

“I think both teams should have finished with 11 men, I’ll have a look at the video, but you never get anywhere with appeals anyway.”