Di Paola’s left fuming as Hornets slip in title race
That came after they slipped-up against Loxwood on Tuesday night in a thrilling Premier Division derby at Plaistow Road.
The Magpies mounted a superb fightback to hit back from being two-goals down at half-time to take a point from a 2-2 draw.
Victory could have seen Horsham go top of the table, but a point now leaves them playing catch-up ahead of tough trip to third-placed Lancing on Saturday.
Both camps were left fuming at decisions in the game as referee Carl Smith and assistants Ciaran Kane and Rajab Seruwagi failed to award Loxwood a late penalty and Horsham a goal from an effort that cross the line.
And despite feeling aggrieved with numerous decisions, Horsham boss Di Paola was left pondering his side’s mindset.
He said: “I just see it as three points dropped by not managing the game really. When we played them at our place we managed the game well.
“You can’t blame them (officials). You just have to accept the fact we threw it away. We had a terrible opening 15 minutes in the second half and that has killed us.
“Again we have thrown away another chance to go top, how many more chances do we want? Now we are two points behind again and back to square one.
“How many more times are we going to throw away opportunities to do it as we have the ability to, it’s just the mindset. It’s disappointing.
“You look at our team age wise - Ash Jones and Mark Knee have won everything there is to win, the rest of them have all won the County League, RUR and John O’Hara Cup. So why haven’t they managed the game and seen it out? That is what we should be doing and making the right decisions.
“I can’t be too harsh on them as they have worked themselves into the ground and not played badly, but have thrown the game away - it’s a doubled-edged one.”
Loxwood boss Mark Beard while pleased to rescue a point, voiced a rare frustration at the decision not to give his side a spot kick.
He said: “We are pleased because at the end it was the most stonewall penalty I have seen in my life. I never moan about referees and I won’t even go and talk to him now as it’s gone, but I do think he has absolutely bottled it. It’s the most unbelievably easy penalty decision ever.
“The bloke is nowhere near the ball, he hasn’t touched it and then he has given a corner. I think he has just bottled it and he is normally a really good referee as well, one of the best we have had.
“Then Horsham went up the other end and scored as well, it was 100 per cent over the line and he hasn’t given that as he hasn’t given the penalty, he is trying to even it up.
“They have to be brave and make decisions on what they see, if it’s a penalty it’s a penalty, if it’s a goal it’s a goal.
“I said to the boys after the game, that if we had said we’d get back to 2-2 at half-time against the top of the league, then I would have taken it with both hands.
“I would have paid £1million to get a point out of it, so it’s a good result at the end of the day.”
Di Paola added: “Every decision the officials make they justify in their heads. With the goal, perhaps he hasn’t given that because of the penalty. It’s those things.
“Everytime we are talking about the officials, why? They are a good team, we aren’t a bad side, but we are talking about decisions relating to officials and it’s infuriating.
“The referee isn’t a bad ref, but he’s made a rod for his own back as Adam Hunt should have been sent off at the end. It’s a snowball effect as they are chasing their tails.
“I don’t think the referee was the problem, I thought the two assistants provided no help for him.”
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