Horsham’s game management blasted as Corinthian hit injury-time leveller in FA Cup

Daryl Coleman in action for Horsham against Corinthian on Saturday. Picture by John Lines
Daryl Coleman in action for Horsham against Corinthian on Saturday. Picture by John Lines

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola blasted his side’s game management as they were 20 seconds away from sailing into the next round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

The Hornets were forced to a replay as they conceded a Corinthian equaliser deep into injury-time, having led for more than an hour in the first-qualifying round clash.

Horsham's goal is put in by Corinthian defender James Bath on Saturday. Picture by John Lines

Horsham's goal is put in by Corinthian defender James Bath on Saturday. Picture by John Lines

Jack Bath’s late leveller earned the Southern Counties East League Premier Division side a replay at Culver Road on Wednesday evening.

The visitors went ahead just before the half-hour mark, when Bath headed into his own net, but Horsham failed to kill off the game on what was a poor surface at Valley Road.

Di Paola was not happy that his side failed to see out the closing stages and said: “It was a stupid last five minutes, we just did not manage the game.

“There were opportunities to slow the game down and take the ball to the corner, but we did not do it.

Horsham celebrate taking the lead at Corinthan. Picture by John Lines

Horsham celebrate taking the lead at Corinthan. Picture by John Lines

“Their goal came from exactly that situation in the last 20 seconds. We tried to play a ball inside, got caught out by a long ball forward, a lucky bounce, and their striker has had their one decent shot of the game and scored from it.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s the FA Cup and these things do happen. We are not out, but we do have to do it all again on Wednesday.

“First half we played alright, but second half we never really got going. It was stupid though as we are 20 seconds away from winning the game 1-0.

“We should have done that, you have got to manage the game and a few of the boys on the pitch should have done that; it’s not something we can do from the sidelines, they have to take responsibility.

“It was a poor surface, but that is the same for both teams, there is no way around it, we threw away an opportunity to win the game. You cannot make excuses.”

Rob O’Toole had a couple of decent chances to open the scoring, before on 27 minutes a cross from James McElligott towards the striker was turned into his own net by Bath. Tyrell-Richardson-Brown’s cut back was turned away and Lewis Hyde’s header was then cleared off the line, before O’Toole was forced off injured.

Horsham continued to be wasteful in front of goal in the second half and that came back to haunt them with the clock on 95 minutes as Bath raced clear through the middle to level.

The two sides will face off again tomorrow night with a home clash against Heybridge Swifts in the second round along with prize money of £6,000 up for grabs.

Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf, Coleman, Hoare, Hyde, Lovegrove, McElligott, Harris (Brivio 82), O’Toole (Smith 45), Richardson-Brown (Boswell 76), Harding. Unused: Hartley, Shelley.