Di Paola praises Horsham players and blames injury woes for Walton Casuals defeat

Football, Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Chipstead. Darren Boswell. Pic Steve Robards  SR1626434 SUS-161209-114238001
Football, Ryman League South Division: Horsham v Chipstead. Darren Boswell. Pic Steve Robards SR1626434 SUS-161209-114238001

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola refused to criticise and instead praised his hard-working players, citing they were victims of circumstance against Walton Casuals.

The Hornets failed to score for the first time this season as their winless run was extended to five matches in the Ryman League South Division.

A goal from Malachi Hudson and second-half brace from Jack Sammoutis were enough to give Casuals victory against the Hornets, who slipped a place to 13th.

After a few critical assessments of their display, Di Paola highlighted their ever-growing injury list which has left them without a recognised forward.

He said: “When you have no attacking options it’s no wonder, really. I am asking Bozzy (Darren Boswell) who has barely played for six weeks to provide the attack as there is nobody else to.

“The boys are working hard and giving their all, it’s just one of those. The three goals were from our mistakes, but the boys are giving everything. We are just a little bit toothless as injuries and absence of key players has killed us.

“People may say we looked a little lacklustre, but I do not think that’s the case. We had enough chances to be level from set-piece alone, but we have not got anyone putting those chances away at the moment.

“Tom Lawley was suspended and he is a loss and he gives us a bit of experience and retains possession for us. I am asking Ollie Gill, who is only a youngster, to play out of position up front and him and Louie Downey, who is on loan, to spearhead our attack.

“There are going to be games when you don’t deliver. But it was the first time all season that we have not scored.”

Horsham had a great chance within 20 seconds at Whytleleaf’s Church Road ground where Casuals are playing home matches as Louie Downey stole possession from Casuals’ kick-off, he played in Darren Boswell, but the winger fired just wide..

Former Hornet Gabriel Odunaike effort from close-range was cleared by a last-ditch block from Alex Duncan, while Sammoutis twice curled just wide and Malachi Hudson forced a save from Josh Pelling.

Hudson forced his way into the box on 25 minutes after a turn, but shot across goal when he should have scored.

Casuals eventually took the lead five minutes later as Hudson again broke into the box and unleashed a powerful drive into the top-right corner.

Horsham failed to improve after the break despite a shot from Duncan being held by Gerrar in the Casuals goal.

An Ash Jones block denied Hudson a second, before on 67 minutes, a Pelling miscue gave the ball to Sammoutis’ feet and he finished for a 2-0 and seemingly unassailable lead.

The Stags then added the third with two minutes remaining as Hudson set up Sammoutis, who finished from the edge of the box.

Horsham: Pelling, Duncan, Jones, Hyde, Metcalf, Boswell, Branford, Kirkwood, Axell, Downie, Gill. Subs: Andrade, Farmer, Batchelor, Sackman, Harris.