Horsham's trip to Cray Wanderers 'a free hit' as the division's top two face face off

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola. Picture by Steve Robards.
Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola. Picture by Steve Robards.

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola has called Saturday’s trip to Cray Wanderers ‘a free hit’ as the Bostik South East’s top two do battle in a top-of-the-table clash.

The Wands sit first in the division, having amassed 68 points from 27 games, and boast the league’s best offensive and defensive records.

The second-placed Hornets trail Cray by 13 points and have played a game more than the champions-elect.

With Wanderers running away with the league Di Paola is naturally expecting a difficult encounter against a side ‘light years better than everyone this season’.

He said: “They’ve barely dropped points all season. My maths isn’t great but they can’t be many more wins away from winning the league.

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“They’ve just been light years better than everyone this season and I can’t imagine why that would change on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a massive game but kind of a free hit in a way.

“We’re going to be playing with no pressure on us because they are by far the best team in our league. There’s not really been an argument about it.

“We’re going to be underdogs away from home but we’ll approach it how we always do and give it our all.”

Horsham, however, can lay claim to being the only team so far to inflict defeat on Cray Wanderers in the league this season.

In a game played in stormy conditions, a Rob O’Toole hat-trick and a Charlie Harris howitzer saw the Hornets secure a 4-2 home win back in December.

Despite Horsham claiming an impressive scalp, the Hornets boss downplayed his side’s victory almost three months ago.

Di Paola believed that the previous result had no bearing on Saturday’s upcoming clash and felt, if anything, December’s game would spur the Wands on even more.

He added: “The weather played a big part in our win when we played them at our place. I think we played the conditions better than they did on the day.

“It was the worst wind and rain that we’ve ever played football in so I don’t think it really means anything if I’m honest.

“I think they’ll be even more desperate to beat us because we’re the only team to take points off them in the league.

“There’s lots to contend with but I am looking forward to it. It’ll be good to challenge ourselves against such a top side.”

Going into Saturday’s clash at the top-of-the table, Di Paola has no fresh injury concerns.

Long-term absentee Charlie Harris will definitely not feature while defender Will Miles is currently suffering from a hamstring injury