Horsham boss Di Paola: FA Cup replay win shows what we're capable of
Horsham’s 1-0 FA Cup second qualifying round replay win over Isthmian Premier leaders Kingstonian on Tuesday evening shows what they are capable of.
That is the view of Dominic Di Paola after Shamir Fenelon’s goal secured a home tie with National League South side Eastbourne Borough in the next round on October 2.
Horsham, who were missing EIGHT players and saw Fenelon and Charlie Harris taken off due to injury, scored the winner on 25 minutes.
Doug Tuck struck a swerving shot which keeper Rob Tolfrey was unable to hold and Fenelon was on hand to tuck home the rebound.
Horsham were also indebted to superb displays from Sam Howes, Danny Dudley, Jack Brivio and Tom Richards for keeping the K's at bay.
The Hornets drew 1-1 in the first game at Kingstonian on Saturday. Tom Kavanagh struck in the 83rd minute to force a replay.
Di Paola said: "In terms of them being a good side, and us having a lot of people missing, it’s a great result, and exactly what the players deserved over the two games.
"Saturday they battled to stay in the game, and Tuesday night, in my opinion, they had lots of the ball and got into decent areas.
"But they never really troubled us. You could argue that we had two or three better chances win the game over the 90 minutes anyway.
"Saturday, if it wasn’t for a freak Jack Brivio handball we would’ve sneaked a 1-0.
"But the boys were brilliant. It shows what they’re capable of really.
"Tom Day was missing, Steve Metcalf, Will Miles, Gary Charman, Lucas Rodrigues, Rob O’Toole [missed the replay], Shamir and Charlie Harris got injured last [Tuesday] night.
"You look at those players and you’d say they are some of the first names on the teamsheet.
"But we’ve got a group of boys that we back, and are all good players.
"The ones that came in or played out of position were brilliant, and that’s what we always ask for at Horsham."
Horsham travel to Bowers & Pitsea this Saturday in an early battle at the bottom of the Isthmian Premier.
The Hornets sit third-from-bottom, one place and one goal ahead of Bowers. Both sides have taken five points from six games.
But, despite Horsham's lowly league standing, Di Paola was confident that his side would start picking points.
He added: "I’ve been confident all season. I think apart from the first game [against Hornchurch] where we were nervy and didn’t play well first half, I’ve been fine.
"I don’t always measure anything on results. I don’t think measuring results is the right way to do it.
"I think in general we’ve been playing quite well. If we’d taken a few more of our chances we would be in a much better position.
"I think the boys are confident. We’re beginning to gel as a group and I think our performance levels will only improve as the season goes on, especially when we start getting boys back.
"That’s my only slight concern at the moment. If we were playing them today, I think we’d only have 10 fit players.
"We’ve got a lot of players out injured at the moment. We need a few of them to come through for the weekend,
"But the boys are grafting for each other, and off the back of that you get your just rewards sometimes."