Horsham enjoying rise up the table
A full complement of players and a team enjoying their football has been behind Horsham’s upsurge in form in the Isthmian Premier.
That’s the view of manager Dominic Di Paola after the Hornets made it five league wins in a row.
Lucas Rodrigues’ winner in second half stoppage time saw Horsham claim a 2-1 home victory over Margate on Saturday - their first home league win over the Kent outfit in 13 years.
Harrison Hatfull headed the Gate in front on 65 minutes before Rob O’Toole’s ice cool finish levelled proceedings 12 minutes later.
And Horsham’s red hot run continued on Tuesday evening with a 2-0 home victory over Wingate & Finchley.
The hosts created plenty of chances but had to wait until the 37th minute to take the lead. Rodrigues’ shot was fumbled by the keeper into the path of O’Toole who fired home.
The Hornets missed a penalty before half-time but Lee Harding added Horsham’s second on 70 minutes, delicately lifting the ball over the keeper, before Dexter Peter saw red for Wingate.
The victories have seen the Hornets rise to 14th, two points behind place-above Merstham who they visit this Saturday.
Di Paola said: “We’ve been playing really well. It’s been a good couple of weeks.
“We’ve had players available which is always good. We’ve not had to force players to play when they’re not feeling 100 per cent.
“We’ve had no distractions like we had with the FA Cup run. We’ve had people back from injury, so in general there have been lots of things that have combined.
“But the boys have played really well. That’s the best thing about it.
“You have to give credit to the boys. They’ve got their act together, performances have been good, and it’s been great to watch.
“Things are okay at the moment. Football has a habit of kicking me in the teeth but at the moment things are looking up.”
Saturday’s opponents Merstham have won only one of their last six Isthmian Premier games, although they did pick up a creditable 2-2 draw at home to Bishop’s Stortford last weekend.
Di Paola added: “Every game is tough. I say it every week.
“They’ve got some goals in them. They drew at Bishop’s Stortford the other night, which is never easy.
“It won’t be an easy one but the boys are looking forward to their football. They’re looking forward to coming to football and that’s half the battle sometimes.
“When you get your confidence up you just want to be on the pitch. We don’t want to be training or anything, we just want to be playing our next game.”
Horsham will be at near-full strength for their trip to Surrey. Shamir Fenelon is expected to be the Hornets’ only absentee.
Meanwhile, Horsham have been drawn at home to division-below Hastings United in the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup. The tie will be played on Tuesday, December 14, kick-off 7.45pm.