Late Casuals winner denies deserving Horsham a point

Striker Liam MacDevitt has left Horsham to join league rivals Greenwich Borough
Striker Liam MacDevitt has left Horsham to join league rivals Greenwich Borough

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola felt his side were deserving of a point after they were hit by a late winner at Corinthian Casuals.

Jamie Byatt netted an 83rd-minute winner for the hosts after Tom Lawley had pulled Horsham back into the game with a fine second-half strike.

The clash came four days after the Hornets were embarrassed in a 7-1 thumping by league leaders Dorking Wanderers.

They trailed 1-0 at half-time against a play-off chasing Casuals, but an improved display in the second half, saw the visitors unlucky not to grab a share of the spoils.

Di Paola said: “We did not deserve to win it, definitely not, but we deserved something out of the game.

“We had a couple of bad moments, but in the second half they did not cause us too many problems, but managed to score.

“It’s just the nature of this level, we are not quite there at times and we were aren’t, we get punished. We huffed and puffed but did not create enough and it’s a shame as it’s another one we’ll look back on.

“I worked it out that we have dropped eight points where I think we were worthy of something. If you add those onto our tally things would be rosy. It’s fine lines and margins, but again, it’s the nature of the level we are at.”

Casuals had a decent shout for a penalty waved away on 12 minutes when Jordan Clarke created some space for himself and his shot hit a Horsham arm at close range.

Josh Pelling then got down to save a Josh Gallagher effort that skidded off the wet surface.

The first chance at the other end came as Lee Carney’s first-time ball across the face of goal was just out of reach of a slide from Liam MacDevitt.

A crucial interception by Charlie Farmer denied Shaun Okojie from pulling the trigger as he ghosted into the box and looked poised to finish.

Some good work from Gallagher brought the ball forward and Okojie’s effort rattled the top of the crossbar and went over.

Casuals did break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when Josh Ozun got on the end of a pass into the box and fired it first time beyond Pelling.

Horsham went close just five minutes into the second half when Lewis Hyde collected forced a decent stop by Danny Bracken.

Terry Murray headed over from close range and Clarke then was denied by a good save from Pelling.

Lawley then pulled Horsham level on 64 minutes with a fine individual goal as he ran through the home defence and fired home.

But it was Casuals substitute Byatt that stole the show late on as he turned home Ozun’s cross with seven minute remaining.

Di Paola added: “Jamie Byatt scored and he has done a few times before against us in the past. I am not sure how old he is but he seems a veteran now as he has been around for ages and certainly knows where they net is.”

Horsham: Pelling, Hyde, Jones, Farmer, Metcalf, Lawley, Carney (Axell), Branford, Gill (Kirkwood), Harris, MacDevitt (Andrade). Unused: Sackman, Batchelor.