Horsham boss Di Paola admits Haywards Heath ‘thoroughly deserved win’, but slams players and ends up in referee controversy

Horsham FC manager Dominic Di Paola. 19.09.2015. Pic Steve Robards SR1522347 SUS-150921-092453001
Horsham FC manager Dominic Di Paola. 19.09.2015. Pic Steve Robards SR1522347 SUS-150921-092453001

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola admitted they deserved nothing from their defeat to Haywards Heath Town concluding it was ‘as bad as they have been for a long time’.

The Hornets manager has been full of praise for his side this season which has seen them climb into the top three of the Bostik League South East division.

But Saturday’s 2-0 derby loss at Hanbury Park saw Di Paola give a blast of the hair dryer as he slammed the players’ efforts and also referee John Pike.

He said: “I do not think we deserved anything out of the game, we were poor, especially in the second half. I think they were the better side and thoroughly deserved the win.

“They were more up for it than us and had a better attitude to the game than us. In my opinion the better team won I have no complaints from that side. For me, it was as bad as we have been for a long time.

“Too many people were off colour, apart from George Hayward, who was excellent, I do not think anyone played well. Both goals were avoidable. The first was lazy, just lazy in midfield, we didn’t get near their guy and allowed him to switch it and it was a free header in the centre of the goal.

“I felt we struggled defensively all game and were disappointing in that respect, we didn’t look a solid unit. We had chances in the first, two gilt-edged chances and did not take them. I am disappointed and I think the boys are disappointed, they do not go out to play badly, but I thought we were poor.”

Joe Shelley was sent off early in the second half after picking up a second booking for clipping the heels of Kieran Rowe and was sent off.

Shelley’s initial booking came in the first half for a high boot, which Di Paola took issue with. The manager also revealed that Pike had told him at full-time he would be reporting him to the FA.

The manager said: “The first one was not a booking. I’d ask the question that our player has made two tackles in 90 minutes and he has booked him for both. I don’t understand it.

“He (the referee) has told me he was going to report me as well. I do not understand why he would report me? Even the linesman was saying that they were having a mare - they were his exact words.

“What am I meant to do? I did not swear at him (the referee). I did not shout at him, I just said, ‘do you think that is a satisfactory performance at this level?’.”