FA Trophy: 'They can't be far off 50 places above us and I did not feel they were that on the day' - Horsham boss on Bath City defeat
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola has had his say on their FA Tophy exit against National League South side Bath City this afternoon.
It was the Somerset outfit that edged to a 2-1 victory in the third qualifying round thanks at Culver Road to goals from Jack Batten and a fine individual second-half effort from Sean Riggs.
But the Hornets could be more than proud of their performance as Charlie Harris' fine free kick saw them go in level at the break after they had had the better first-half chances.
It was an impressive showing against another higher-division opposition and on another day Horsham, who were without topscorer Chris Smith, could have easily held out for a replay.Di Paola said: "I think it was a good performance from the boys and they have done quite well. Again we have missed Chris Smith (away on holiday) in an FA competition, I can't help but feel though having our topscorer could have given us the best chance.
"We got in a couple of times at the end there, but the final ball and bit of quality wasn't there and that is the difference really.
"They can't be far off 50 places above us in the leagues and I did not feel they were 50 places above us on the day. That's a real positive from our group.
"I thought first half we were pretty good, we had a couple of really good chances. We are not as clinical. There are two differences between the levels; the speed in which they transition from defence to attack and out of possession to into to possession and that bit of clinicalness.
"Although for the winning goal, I feel we should have got out better to him (Riggs). It's a bug bare of mine and not to call him out as he has played well, but Charlie Harris has stood, Biff (Joe Shelley) or Dylan (Merchant) as centre-halves would have thrown themselves in there and it's not a goal."
The Horsham boss felt went on to say he was proud of his players efforts, but also reflected on fine margins that contributed to the final score.
He added: "If Tyrell scored in the first half when he should have done and then he should have gone down when the goalkeeper touched him, being a bit more savvy like they were getting people booked and other things, then we could have potentially done it.
"Second half, we ran out of gas a little bit and the substitutes we made were to preserve a bit for Tuesday night (against Eastbourne Borough).
"I am not too disappointed really. It's a nice cup, but if I am honest, I wouldn't have wanted a replay to go down there on a Tuesday night. I thought the boys were good. They are always good, they have great togetherness and gave it a good crack, I can't be too disappointed."