Horsham boss delighted after Hornets come from behind to win first league game of the season
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola was delighted with his side’s performance after the Hornets came from behind to record their first league win of the season over Enfield Town on Tuesday night.
Chris Smith blasted in the opener for the hosts inside ten minutes, with Horsham looking comfortable for the majority of the first half.
However, a lapse in concentration a minute before the break saw Enfield score a quickfire double against the run of play.
Harvey Sparks levelled it up just nine minutes after the restart before Harris fired in a sensational hat trick to secure a deserved victory.
Di Paola said: “Barring three minutes before half-time. I thought the boys were great. The balance of the side looked really good.
There’s been a really nice togetherness about the group recently, the boys have really dug in this week. It would have been criminal had we not won that game last night.
“Their attitude at half time, I could see there was a response in them and we looked like a really good footballing side last night.”
The Hornets raced into an early lead when a superb defence-splitting pass from Tom Day was latched on to by Smith who blasted a strike past Towners ‘keeper Nathan McDonald to open the scoring.
Horsham continued to press for a second as a sharp cross from Harvey Sparks was cut out by a defender before it was Lewis Taylor’s turn to send in a searching delivery on the opposite flank, but that too was turned wide.
From the resulting corner, an unmarked Will Miles had a powerful header cleared off the line but with less than a minute before half-time, Enfield stunned the Hornets, striking twice before the break.
Jon Muleba made the most of the space afforded to him, lofting a pinpoint cross into Sam Youngs who finished superbly, volleying in from close range.
And the visitors quickly took the lead, as a free-kick swung in by Lyle Della-Verde, found an unchallenged Billy Bricknell, who nodded a strong header past Brad House.
Forced to regroup, the Hornets continued to press forward at the same intensity shown in the first half, and it wasn’t long until the hosts found their equaliser.
A sweet combination of passes down the left, between Hall and Sparks, resulted in the former teeing up the latter, as Sparks finished off a lovely passing move, sweeping Hall’s low drive into the bottom corner.
The hosts regained their lead in the 69th minute when Day burst forward at pace and passed across to Taylor before it was laid off to Harris who unleashed a low 25-yard drive past the helpless McDonald.
Bricknell almost levelled things up once more as he sent a clever backwards flick towards goal, but House was equal to it, reacting quickly to save at his near post.
With five minutes remaining, Horsham extended their advantage as Harris raced onto an O’Toole through-ball, before firing in a super finish from a tight-angle.
And the midfielder wasn’t done yet. As the clock ticked over into injury time, Harris tried his luck from distance once again, rattling an effort in off the post to cap off an excellent Man of the Match performance.
Speaking about Harris, Di Paola said: “Charlie showed last night what a great player he could be if he was consistently like that.
“Last night, forget the goals, with his positioning, his out of possession play, the way he pinched in and worked to win a lot of balls, I thought he was brilliant, and he deserves a lot of credit because he’s had a frustrating start knowing he had to miss the first two games, so mentally that’s quite tough.”