Horsham manager Di Paola reacts to 'frustrating' Phoenix Sports defeat and addresses goal scoring 'problems'

Phoenix Sports v Horsham. Rob O'Toole is about to be denied by goalkeeper Steve Phillips. Picture by John Lines
Phoenix Sports v Horsham. Rob O'Toole is about to be denied by goalkeeper Steve Phillips. Picture by John Lines

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola felt his side didn't get what they deserved in defeat at Phoenix Sports on Saturday - but stressed they must fix their goalscoring 'problem'.

A solitary Alex Teniola goal in the second half saw the London-based hosts secure their first victory in eight attempts in the Bostik League South East Division.

The result saw play-off chasing Horsham slip a place to fourth in the standings and curse their own finishing after having by far the better opportunities.

They had a host of decent chance throughout the game - the best seeing Steve Metcalf hitting a post and Rob O'Toole somehow not finishing after a great move involving Jack Brivio - while Phoenix had just one attempt on target in the second half.

Goalkeeper Josh Pelling had few real saves to make during the 90 minutes, but a defensive mix-up allowed Teniola the only goal of the afternoon after the Hornets stopper called for the ball and didn't make the clearance in the 67th minute

Di Paola reflected: "It's a hard one to take as, maybe I am biased, but I think we dominated the game, they had a couple of headers early doors, but we should have put it out of sight.

"It's frustrating. I feel for the defence, I was a defender myself and when you don't score it puts you under a lot of pressure - one slight mistake and you lose the game.

"It goes in circles and cycles in football. For a few weeks we were letting in two each game and the forwards were getting us out of trouble and now the defence over the past few weeks has kept us in games.

READ MORE | Phoenix Sports 1, Horsham 0: Hornets slip to fourth as they pay the price for missed chances

"I feel sometimes you don't always get what you deserved and I do feel that we definitely deserved something out of the game. They didn't have a shot second half, the goal wasn't really a shot, it was our mistake. We just are not punishing teams.

"Adam (Westwood) said last weekend that we had a lot of chances and by not taking them we are making hard work of games for ourselves, it's been a common theme.

"The Guernsey game was the same, we had a mountain of chances that we didn't take so it's a real problem at the moment. We are just not taking them. All you can do is keep plugging away and sooner or later you are going to captialise on one and maybe a few more will go in.

"We have to address it as you can't go game after game saying 'unlucky boys'. We have to have a look at it in training and address a problem or error there. It is a confidence thing, I think."

Former Horsham goalkeeper Steve Phillips in between the sticks for the home side was allowed to get away with constantly slowing the game down and was only shown a token yellow card late on by referee Ian Fissenden

Di Paola added: "They know how to play the pitch, it's small and it's bobbly. The referee as well, if he books their goalkeeper, he's a good mate of mine Steve, but as soon as they have scored (time wasting started) and the referee could have warned him a couple of times, that would have sped the game up. I think we lost at least ten minutes of the game.

"I am not massively concerned, but on Saturday we have blown points. It's not affected the table overly, yes we have dropped down a place, but not damaged any play-off hopes or aspirations. At the same time, you want to be a lot more clinical then we have been in the last few games."