Play-off push ruled out as Horsham would need ‘perfect’ run-in

Horsham FC v Chatham Pic Steve Robards SR1633976 minute silence SUS-161114-125015001
Horsham FC v Chatham Pic Steve Robards SR1633976 minute silence SUS-161114-125015001
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Horsham have been ruled out of an unexpected late play-off push as they would need a ‘perfect’ run-in to sneak a spot.

The Hornets are the in-form side in the Ryman League South Division after extending their unbeaten run to seven games and climbing to 11th place this week.

They are 12 points off the top five with 16 games left to play, but teams above and below them have games in hand. Safety was the main goal this season after promotion back to this level, but Dominic Di Paola’s side have found their stride in the past month.

Despite that, the manager has talked down a push for the play-offs, stressing that improving and building are at the forefronts of their minds.

He said: “I do not think we have got a chance. To be honest, I think we have got to have a perfect run to do it. If we win all 16 we could, but it is unrealistic.

“If we had not had that bad run, the six-game spell then maybe. With another six or nine points in that run, maybe we might have had a chance.

“I do not think we are consistent enough, we need to focus on being better than the first half of the season and build and see where we finish up. I think, being honest, that will be 11th or 12th.

“The boys have been good. The enjoyment is there and not just because we are getting results, but we feel like a real team now.

“I don’t think we have cracked it, it is quite feasible that we could play Faversham (Saturday) and lose, but the boys are all working hard now and when they’ve had to dig it, they have.”

One bonus is an influx of new additions - Jordan Clark, Alfie Rogers and Matt Price - as well as ones returning from injury and unavailability - Ollie Gill, Tony Nwachukwu and Steve Metcalf.

The pick up in results has coincided with having a bigger and settled squad, something Di Paola struggled to get earlier in the season.

He added: “It just shows when you have numbers it makes a difference. I have been like a broken record this season, but since the Godalming game we have had numbers and there has been a big upturn in results.

“As we did not get a squad together at the start, playing Tuesday and Saturday is relentless, asking the same XI, you can’t do it in this league.”

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