Simon Colbran was delighted to see Gary Charman come through his first 90 minutes in Horsham’s narrow defeat at Margate on Tuesday night.
The two sides were well matched throughout, although the Hornets boss said the host’s superior fitness perhaps proved the difference at Hartsdown Park.
Colbran said: “He (Charman) was cramping a bit in the last 15, 20 minutes but he came through fine and was brilliant, whenever you’ve got Gary Charman in there you’ve got a chance. He’s an excellent footballer, he wears his heart on his sleeve and has the experience to get everyone going. I honestly can’t praise him enough and from a management side of things he’s had a massive impact already, we’ve built up a really good partnership.”
Despite again missing a number of key players the long mid-week trip to Kent proved fruitful for Colbran with his side impressing.
The Horsham defence looked solid in the face of some first-half Margate pressure before the hosts did go ahead through John Beales.
Ryman Premier Margate, unbeaten in five previous pre-season games, threatened with a series of corners but just after the half hour Horsham drew level when Matt Simpson fired into the bottom corner.
Margate had a couple of chances before the break, although Horsham also looked threatening when allowed to get forward.
Colbran’s Hornets were largely playing on the break in the second-half, but as the game wore on Margate upped the ante.
And the hosts found a winner on 78 minutes when a lack of concentration saw the Horsham defence give away possession, allowing substitute Ola Alabi to round Michael Hunter in goal and slot into an empty net.
Colbran said: “We pushed them all the way and had chances of our own so it could have gone either way. But their fitness levels were just a bit better than ours towards the end and that was the main difference.”
On Saturday a Horsham side managed by assistant manager Charman lost by the same score at Ryman North Chatham, Jaufrey Mahdoo with Horsham’s goal.
Horsham: Hunter, Bolaji (Hutchings 54), Dixon, Farmer, Charman, Simpson, Kaboah, Harris (Kadima), Neil, Kedze (Savage 70), Muntungi (Mahoodo 60).