Hornets are told to stay grounded despite going top

DM15111730a.jpg Football - Horsham v Epsom and Ewell. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150609-220440008
DM15111730a.jpg Football - Horsham v Epsom and Ewell. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150609-220440008

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola is not getting too carried away after his side hit the top of the Southern Combination League Premier Division for the first time this season.

The Hornets made it nine straight wins as they took over from frontrunners Newhaven after coming though one of their toughest tests to date on Tuesday night.

A Darren Boswell hat-trick and Terry Dodd goal helped them overcome the dangerous threat of Loxwood and end the Magpies own excellent run of ten straight wins.

Di Paola admitted his Horsham players were forced to put in their best performance of the season to overcome the best side they have played, with the scoreline 4-0 somewhat suggesting an unfair or unrealistic thrashing.

But the Hornets boss has warned there is a long way to go yet, particularly a tough test away to Eastbourne Town on Saturday, and on taking top spot, he said: “I don’t really care at this stage.

“It’s one of those things, you just have to knock the games off is the way I see it. If you want to win the league you have to knock them off and we have to keep doing that.

“At the end of the season, the games are all played and it is who is top then. It doesn’t really matter at this stage at all where we are.

“As long as we are in touching distance, I always think we are a better side in the second half of the season anyway. So hopefully we will be there or there abouts.”

Loxwood proved a tough test for Horsham and two quick-fire goals in the first half rocked the Magpies, but a third early in the second half killed the game.

Di Paola, however, felt is was his side’s toughest game so far and saluted his defence for keeping a clean sheet against the free-scoring visitors.

He said: “They are the best side we have played this year definitely, they play really good football are still young and I reckon in a couple of years they are going to be a really strong side if they stick together.

“We had to play to a game plan, in both halves we had a different game plan and I thought they were excellent.

“We did really well, stuck to our game plan and considering we had players missing I was very pleased. It was a good game of football apart from the ref.

“It was all about the defence, I think they were brilliant. They dealt with everything and dealt with a side that had been quite free-scoring themselves. They were excellent.

“It was not far off perfect really for the game, I am really happy. They executed everything we asked them to do and as a manager it’s nice to have that in the locker. If they do everything they ask us to do you can’t say too much.

“But it is only one game and if we had lost, we would have said ‘it is only three points’ so we will have to see how we get on Saturday.”

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