Di Paola delighted with new players in battling draw

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Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola was delighted his side recovered from going a goal behind to hold Cray Wanderers to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.

The Bromley-based club took the lead in the 19th minute.

This was from a spectacular strike from 12 yards by Danny Haynes, from a cross from ex-Horsham player Dane Luchford.

The lead was levelled after 33 minutes by Horsham’s recent signing from Loxwood, Ollie Gill, with a well-taken low strike from the edge of the area.

In the second half another new boy, former AFC Wimbledon midfielder Reece Batchelor, gave Horsham the lead with 17 minutes to go.

He timed a slide to perfection to meet a diagonal ball across the face of goal by new signing Louie Downey.

But just two minutes later Cray got back on to level terms thanks to a second goal powerfully headed home by Haynes.

Di Paola revealed he was forced to make a lot of chances due to absences.

He said: “We had eight players missing and it was a battling performance with a makeshift team.”

The Hornets boss had to go into battle without most of his first choice team with Terry Metcalf, Alex Duncan, Mark Knee, Terry Dodd, Lee Carney, Darren Boswell and Tony Nwachukwu all unavailable.

Di Paola praised several of his new players who impressed him.

He said: “Midfielder Mat Axell (on loan from Worthing) did really well.

“Reece Batchelor played well at right wing-back and scored in his first proper game for us.

“Louie Downey (a midfielder on loan from Leatherhead) also did very well for us.”

Di Paola’s only criticism was that they allowed their hard-earned lead disappear within two minutes of Batchelor’s second goal.

He said: “The only disappointing thing was how quickly we conceded the second goal after we had scored in the second half.

“Apart from that it was a good team performance.”

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