Temporary home Culver Road and 3G surface gets a thumbs up from Hornets

Sussex County FA Culver Road pitch SUS-151029-164953002
Sussex County FA Culver Road pitch SUS-151029-164953002

New temporary home Culver Road and its 3G surface has got a big thumbs up from Horsham and will play to their strengths next season.

The Hornets had their first match at the Sussex FA headquarters on Saturday ahead of their season-long stay down on the coast while their new ground is built.

Asa Nicholson has signed on for Horsham after a successful trial. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Asa Nicholson has signed on for Horsham after a successful trial. Picture by Stephen Goodger

They suffered a 2-1 defeat to Bostik League Premier Division side Kingstonian in the first of their pre-season fixtures.

Despite the result, Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola was pleased with the workout as well as the welcome and facilities at their nomadic home.

He said: “I really like it. We obviously train on it and it is great. We did not have it easy on Horsham YMCA’s pitch, which was not great most of the time. That gives players an excuse and it means sometimes you cannot play the football you want to play.

“So it’s a real bonus for us now having a really good surface. We want to play football, but it does depend on the type of players and shape you are going to play.

“We try, we want to get it down and pass the ball, but in this league it is sometimes not as easy as in the County League as teams have ways of stopping you.

“I really like it there. The facilities are great, the changing rooms are massive, it is everything we want and they are really nice down there, they’ve been very welcoming.”

A Scott Kirkwood penalty gave Horsham the lead against Kingstonian on Saturday, before a Tom Derry brace completed the scoring before half-time.

Both sides used the second half to make changes which then disrupted the pattern.

Horsham had both trialists Asa Nicholson, who was at Arundel last season, and full-back George Fenton (Lancing) on show.

Di Paola added: “It was good. We only had to give two people 90 minutes as I think 45 is enough at this stage. The first half was a proper game of football, they then made a lot of changes, I think with quite a few trialists, but that is often the case in pre-season.

“It’s all about getting players out there and getting them to the same fitness and a good understanding.”

On the trialists, he added: “We just had a look at them. I was pleased about getting some minutes into the boys and a lot played really well.”

Horsham now host Burgess Hill in their next friendly at Lancing on Saturday (3pm).