Horsham boss Di Paola praises referee after ‘nightmare’

Football, Bostik League South  Division: Horsham v Hythe. Dominic Di Paola . Pic Stephen Goodger. DSC_3048 SUS-171127-134113001
Football, Bostik League South Division: Horsham v Hythe. Dominic Di Paola . Pic Stephen Goodger. DSC_3048 SUS-171127-134113001

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola has praised the referee for the way he handled the postponement of their Sussex Senior Cup quarter-final due to two road incidents.

Their scheduled game away to Pagham on Tuesday night was postponed by Steve Hughes after it became apparent Horsham would not be able to get their players to Nyetimber Lane.

Three of the players travelling together in one car, Josh Pelling, Liam MacDevitt and Hakeem Adelakun were involved in a serious three-car shunt in London on the A2 which left their vehicle possibly written-off with their radiator broken.

In a separate incident, four players being driven by Josh Street broke down due to a coil failing on the way to Pagham near Brighton.

Attempts were made to pick them up but this would not have got them there until after 8pm, well past the 7.30pm kick-off time.

Pagham are not able to stage late kick-offs beyond a few minutes when extra-time is involved.

Di Paola said: “It was a nightmare and I was gutted the game was called off but the referee handled it very well, and was on the phone receiving advice from the Sussex FA.

“We even asked a fan at the game to turnaround and go back and pick the one car load up, but their eventual arrival would have been too late.

“We could have got there by about 8.10pm but in the end it was probably the right decision.

“We were only sending 13 players to the game.

“The main thing is no-one got hurt, they are just feeling sore from the crash but are OK. That is more important than football!”

Horsham hope to make it four wins in a row at Saturday’s home league game against Herne Bay.

Di Paola said: “Herne Bay are a really good side, one of the best passing sides in the league.

“We got a good win on Saturday (2-0 away to Whyteleafe) and it would be good to get a repeat.

“Fingers crossed we don’t get injuries or we could get unstuck if the Pagham game is rearranged for Tuesday as we only have 15 eligible players due to all our new signings being cup-tied.”