Di Paola reflects on competitiveness of league and looks to Thamesmead and Guernsey

Curtis Gayler has joined Horsham from Burgess Hill Town. Picture by Scott White
Curtis Gayler has joined Horsham from Burgess Hill Town. Picture by Scott White

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola has reiterated the competitiveness of the Bostik League by revealing they have not had one easy game this season.

The Hornets have just passed the halfway stage of the season with 30 points from 24 games in the South Division.

Some had talked them up to be in the band of potential play-off contenders this term, but an early-season injury crisis put paid to that prematurely.

A rebuild of the squad was required and steadily Horsham have improved, but with a fiercely-competitive division which sees unpredictable results week-in, week-out, Di Paola knows that fixtures will not be any easier in the new year.

He said: “I can see us always being between that 14th to 18th positions in the league, that is how tight it is and anyone can beat anyone.

“I can’t think of a game where it has been easy - apart from maybe Ashford Town in the FA Cup. So many teams are so even, you cannot bank on any games.

“You have your Lewes and Cray that you plan for with the qualities they have, but then your Ashford Town and East Grinstead are pretty much the same. They have just as much danger about them.

“The top teams just seem that little bit more consistent, that’s probably the difference. They do it on a more consistent basis.”

Horsham were almost at full-strength on Saturday and with an extra addition of midfielder Curtis Gayler from Burgess Hill, were able to name a strong bench.

Di Paola said: “He is another young lad, but was out all of last season with injury. He has tried to get back into Burgess Hill but found first-team opportunities limited.

“We needed players with the load of games we have coming up, so we will see how we go.”

Horsham host Thamesmead Town on Saturday, who are a place and a point above them in the table in 14th. And Di Paola said: “We got tonked up there earlier in the season and it will be interesting to see how far we have come since then.”

They then face their controversial trip to Guernsey on Boxing Day and Di Paola has admitted he still has no idea of what side he can take.

The boss will be without his whole management team and said: “It’s farcical. I am trying to sort things out, but know I have a lot of players missing that cannot physically travel.

“We will have to go out there with no sort of team that reflects anywhere near our best level.”