Horsham 'a pleasure to watch' in home win over Hythe Town

George Hayward and Lee Harding celebrate as Horsham go 1-0 up in their 2-1 home win over Hythe Town in the Bostik South East on Saturday. All pictures by John Lines.
George Hayward and Lee Harding celebrate as Horsham go 1-0 up in their 2-1 home win over Hythe Town in the Bostik South East on Saturday. All pictures by John Lines.

Dominic Di Paola felt Horsham were ‘a pleasure to watch’ but would have preferred a ‘more convincing scoreline’ in their 2-1 home win over Hythe Town in the Bostik South East on Saturday.

First-half goals from Lee Harding and George Hayward gave Horsham the lead before Sid Sollis’ late goal ensured a nervy finish for the Hornets.

George Hayward lets fly with a volley.

George Hayward lets fly with a volley.

Josh Pelling was required to make a superb stop at the death but Di Paola’s side held on to maintain their seven-game unbeaten run and record their 17th league victory.

The result edged the second-placed Hornets three points clear of Haywards Heath Town in third, further strengthening their claim for a play-off place.

Di Paola said: “I think we played really well and I think the scoreline could have been much more convincing.

SEE ALSO Horsham facing ‘toughest’ run of games yet as they bid for play-off place | ‘Below-par’ Horsham delighted with a battling point over ‘excellent’ East Grinstead Town | ‘Professional performance’ praised as Horsham go second with Whitstable win

Horsham celebrate going 2-0 up in their 2-1 win over Hythe Town.

Horsham celebrate going 2-0 up in their 2-1 win over Hythe Town.

“They scored right near the end and it was a nervy last ten, 15 minutes but I think some of the football we played was of a very high standard.

“It’s another game down. I think that leaves us with eight to go so it was obviously a positive.

“If anyone came down to watch the game they would have enjoyed it. Some of the passing was a pleasure to watch.”

The Hornets made three changes to the side that was held to a goalless draw at East Grinstead on Tuesday night with new boy Dan Pearse replacing Kieran Lavery, Harding stepping in for Tyrell Richardson-Brown, and Lewis Hyde coming in for Dean Lovegrove.

Horsham found the breakthrough on 22 minutes as Hyde sent Harding through. The returning winger twisted and turned before firing off a drilled shot to score.

The advantage was doubled on 37 minutes as Hayward hit a sumptuous half-volley after great link-up play from Chris Smith and Rob O’Toole. This was the least the midfielder deserved after putting in a fine, all-action performance.

In the second period the Hornets were somewhat wasteful in front of goal. Joe Shelley and O’Toole both spurned good chances before Sollis pulled one back on 71 minutes.

After the goal, Horsham fashioned more clear-cut opportunities but they failed to make them count.

They were almost left to rue their profligacy, if not for a fine save from Pelling. The Hornets stopper pulled off a great sprawling save to deny Hythe’s Ollie Rowe in the game’s dying embers.

Di Paola added: “We’ve got two or three of the best strikers in our league in my opinion. If they are not taking their chances it’s unfortunate but it’s just one of those things.

“You always want to score more and you want to have less pressure in the last ten minutes but you can only do so much.”

Horsham: Pelling, Hyde, Sparks, Pearse, Shelley, Merchant, Brivio, Hayward (Richardson-Brown 85), O’Toole, Smith (Lavery 70), Harding. Unused: Lovegrove, Hogan, Kirkwood.