HORSHAM manager Simon Colbran wants his players to listen better after his team ignored his team-talk and fell to a poor 4-0 defeat against Ryman Division 1 South rivals Sittingbourne which dumped them out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle.
The Hornets were without eight players in total and made four changes to the side which had staged a heroic comeback in a 2-2 draw against Whitstable on Tuesday due to injuries and a call up for loan players by contracted club Eastbourne Borough.
Gary Charman and Billy Joe King were both injury absentees while Darren Lok and Tom Gilbert were in action for Eastbourne in the Conference South, Lok scoring the winner for them against Basingstoke.
Colbran said: “We knew what was coming and the most frustrating part was we told everyone what the situation is and what would happen, it happened and the players didn’t react to it. Gary Charman (assistant manager) and I have got to go away and think who is going to listen to what we say and who aren’t.
“It was disappointing that the players out on the pitch had a fantastic opportunity to get themselves in the starting line-up for a massive game next week (at home to Ryman Premier league side Thurrock in the FA Cup). We need a massive improvement.”
It was effectively game over at half-time with Horsham trailing 3-0 in the first half hour. Sittingbourne took the lead in the seventh minute from a Nick Davis header at the far post following a cross from the right from which keeper Michael Hunter appeared dazzled by the sun.
Horsham’s Wayne Clarke hit the crossbar with a header from Tony Nwachukwu’s cross but Hicham Akhazzan made it 2-0 after 24 minutes when he seized upon a half cleared ball, while Sittingbourne went 3-0 up five minutes later when Joe Nwoku sprinted past the visitors’ back-four following a slip-up by Matt Simpson.
Before the break the Kent club had a fourth goal headed in by Joe Taylor disallowed for offside.
Hornets improved after the break and carved out a few chances as they switched to 3-5-2 but Sittingbourne added a fourth goal with two minutes to go, headed in by Akhazzan for his second goal of the game.