Horsham’s unbeaten start to life at their temporary Culver Road home was ended on Tuesday night as ‘the football gods went against them’ against Chipstead.
Hornets boss Dominic Di Paola had stressed that their third-from-bottom Bostik League South Division visitors were in a false position ahead of the clash, but he was left to rue injuries, missed chances and penalty appeals.
The clash saw Chips edge out a 2-1 victory, their maiden win of the season, thanks to Sam Bell’s 90th-minute goal. The visitors had taken a first-half lead through Ollie Twum, while Scott Kirkwood’s spot-kick with 15 minutes remaining had looked like rescuing a point.
Di Paola said: “It was like the football gods went against us after we rode our luck on Saturday. It was ridiculous.
“A lot of things went against us. Chris Breach played five minutes and had to come off injured and we were nursing Darren Boswell all the way through the game.
“Scott Kirkwood has done his groin and had to play the last 20 minutes injured. We should have had a penalty that we did not get. I have watched the video back and it’s an absolute banker.
“If we had got that in the first half when we were well on top, it would have been different. Rob O’Toole had two good chances and we had one off the post in the first half.
“They were up for it, but we had four or five good chances and should have had two penalties which were not given. They did not cause us many problems, but we conceded a couple of cheap goals.”
Early chances saw Chips’ Dylan Cascoe flash wide, Horsham’s Charlie Oatway have his low shot well saved and O’Toole try to pick out Toby House when he should have gone for goal.
The visitors broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark as Twum put in a smart shot across goal that found the bottom corner.
In response, Lewis Hyde’s header was cleared off the line and O’Toole’s snapshot was saved, but Horsham felt they should have had a penalty when House tried to follow-up the rebound.
As the wind and rain increased in the second half, Chipstead shut out their hosts well as chances broke down.
With 15 minutes left, O’Toole was hauled down in the area and Kirkwood’s penalty down the middle came off the keeper and into the net.
O’Toole had a great chance to complete the comeback in the final ten minutes, but his back-heel from six yards went wide. It was Chips that were to nick it as a ball straight through the middle saw an onside Bell run at goal and finish.
Horsham: James, Hartley, Breach, Hyde, Metcalf, Oatway, Kirkwood, Budd, Boswell, House, O’Toole. Unused subs: Farmer, Axell, Lawley.