Di Paola reflects on ‘thrown away’ point as Cray hit injury-time winner

Football, Ryman League South Division: Horsham FC  Lee Carney. Pic Steve Robards  SR1626377 SUS-160920-151308001
Football, Ryman League South Division: Horsham FC Lee Carney. Pic Steve Robards SR1626377 SUS-160920-151308001

A deflected shot by Karl Dent two minutes into stoppage time helped Cray Wanderers clinch victory as they twice fought from behind on Tuesday night.

It was a cruel blow to Horsham who were moments away from picking up back-to-back points and making it three games unbeaten.

Manager Dominic Di Paola felt they ‘threw away’ a point having deserved something out of the game.

Scott Kirkwood opened his Horsham account with a seventh-minute opener, but Bradley Wood-Garness levelled soon after to make the scores level at half-time.

Lee Carney restored Horsham’s lead midway through the second half as he capitalised on a goalkeeping blunder and dribbled to the goal before cheekily heading the ball home.

A defensive mistake at the other end allowed Lea Dawson in to again level with 13 minutes left, before Dent’s deflected effort in added-time pinch Cray the three points.

Di Paola said: “It was a bit frustrating as we just threw it away. A point I think we deserved from the 90 minutes, but we have given away another one and we have given away a lot already.

“It’s hard to take as I did not think the boys deserved to lose, given that everyone had given everything.

“It’s a deflection that has turned the winner into a worldy finish. It’s swerved off Ash Jones, arced on and nestled into the top corner.

“We were worthy of a point over the course of the game as they (Cray) were decent in their own right. We are just letting in too many goals.

“It would have been a really good week with a point against Walton and Cray, who are two good sides, but one point from two, it looks like a bad week. We have to accept it’s ‘dropped points and go again’.”

Kirkwood gave the hosts the lead on seven minutes somewhat against the run of play as he sidefooted home Liam MacDevitt’s cut-back.

The visitors were level 18 minutes later as Horsham failed to clear and as Josh Pelling palmed an effort away, Wood-Garness tucked the ball away.

After a series of long-range efforts or wild finishing at either end,George Branford re-delivered a Horsham corner and Dan Sackman’s close-range strike was blocked on the line by Jay Leader.

In the second half, Nick Blue made a decent stop with his legs to deny a Liam Carney drive, while at the other end Brandon Scorr’s effort came back off the post.

Pelling then denied Solomon Taiwo with a decent stop, Wood-Garness produced a poor effort when well placed and a goal-bound Dent header struck a team-mate.

Despite the pressure, Hornets then led as Blue couldn’t collect a back-pass and Carney ran in the steal the ball an finish, while Tony Nwachukwu was then inches away from adding a third.

Terry Dodd replaced Matt Whitehead and Scott Harris then replaced Carney and just a minute later, Dawson finished from an Ash Jones clearance. There were chances at either end before deep into added time as Sackman headed towards Dent, who drove a deflected ball past Pelling.

Horsham: Pelling, Duncan (Farmer 62), Jones, Sackman, Hyde, Whitehead (Dodd 73), Branford, Kirkwood, Carney (Harris 75), MacDevitt, Nwachukwu.

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