Hornets bid to end FA Cup demons boosted by stoppers, but hit by Browne exit

Horsham coach Ian Browne  (far right) 
has departed from 
the management team, leaving 
Dominic Di Paola and Adam Westwood going it alone. Pic Steve Robards SR1611028 SUS-160416-200826001
Horsham coach Ian Browne (far right) has departed from the management team, leaving Dominic Di Paola and Adam Westwood going it alone. Pic Steve Robards SR1611028 SUS-160416-200826001

Horsham goalkeeper Josh Jones is back available as Dominic Di Paola looks to banish his FA Cup demons at Chertsey Town this weekend.

The Hornets break from the league campaign with a preliminary round clash at Alwyns Lane against the Combined Counties Premier Division side.

Di Paola has failed to take the club past this stage in the past two seasons, which something he is determined to put right, but they will have to do so with coach Ian Browne, who has left the club.

Stopper James could return to the side after holiday, but Di Paola has been more than satisfied with deputy Michael Hunter in the opening two fixtures.

Di Paola admitted: “It’s disappointing that we have not done anything in the competition, we haven’t put any money into the club since I have been here and it’s something we want to do.

“Historically, I have always done well in the cups getting through four rounds of the FA Cup with East Preston and six in the FA Vase, but it’s just not happened yet with Horsham.

“Chertsey are a team I have never played, but we know a bit about them. They have already had a good win in the cup and beat Epsom & Ewell, who are a good side, 7-2 this week. They have some good players and a couple of ex-Leatherhead guys, so we will need to be better than what we were on Tuesday night.”

The winner will bag prize money of £1,925 and a place in the first qualifying round and their could be a tough decision to make in between the sticks as Jones returns from holiday.

Goalkeeper Michael Hunter, who was an unexpected signing after initially just heading to pre-season for fitness, has featured for Horsham in the opening two games and has impressed his manager.

Di Paola said: “He has been really good, he and Rob O’Toole have probably been our best players in our first two games. It’s brilliant to have him around.

“He can’t play all the time as his Mrs lives in California, but what a number two to have.”

One person that will not be around in coach Browne, who has left his role club, ending a ten-year management partnership with Di Paola.

He said: “We have been together a long time, we were probably due a break. Ten years is a long time with anyone, most marriages do not last that long. He is a good mate and we did not want to get to the point of falling out over negative things.

“In the short-term it will weaken us as a club as a result of his jobs being stretched between me and Wesso (Adam Westwood), but in the long term it will help as above all else, it was important we stayed friends as we have been for a long time.”