Hornets may be forced to sign sixth stopper of the season

Horsham v Guernsey - Goalkeeper Josh Pelling. 07-01-17. Steve Robards Pic SR1637905 SUS-170701-172555001

Horsham may have to sign their sixth goalkeeper of the season this week - with the recent loan deal for Josh Pelling being just a short-term fix.

Last season’s players’, manager’s and supporters’ player of the year re-signed for the Hornets last week on a month’s loan deal from Dorking Wanderers.

Dominic Di Paola was forced to call in a favour from the Premier Division outfit after regular stopper Brannon Daly was stretchered off against Lewes on New Year’s Day.

With Daly expected to be out long term and Pelling’s sights on breaking into his parent club’s starting XI as he returns from a recent injury himself, Di Paola is set to speak to a new stopper this week. He has a seven-day approach in, despite still having Michael Hunter, James Fernandes and Joe Taylor on the club’s books.

Di Paola said: “Hopefully, we will soon have a better idea on how Brannon is going to be, but I am a bit worried about it as I think it could be a long one and Pells doesn’t want to play here with the greatest respect he wants to get in at Dorking so we need to address that.

“We have put in a seven dayer for a keeper and I am going to be able to speak to him on Thursday. So it might be that we have to get one in, but I don’t really want to because Brannon has been fantastic.”

Pelling conceded twice in Horsham’s 3-2 victory over VCD Athletic on Saturday, in a match where a growing squad allowed Di Paola to give the experienced Scott Kirkwood and Lewis Hyde an extra game off to recover from injury.

They are both set to return for Saturday’s trip to Whyteleafe and Di Paola revealed: “We gambled on Scott and Lewis because they were both pretty much fit, but I don’t want to rush people back because we keep having things where people break down.

“We have got some numbers now so it made sense to take a punt on it and give them another week, now they can train on Thursday and we can get them in.

“We have a lot of young lads now - Curtis Gayler (22), Jack Hartley (22), Toby House (19) and Charlie Harris (19) - We haven’t got a lot of older heads, so could do with them back.”

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