With the reality of having just EIGHT fit players, the postponement of Horsham’s cup clash with Burgess Hill on Tuesday night was welcomed as a ‘blessing in disguise.’
The Hornets’ injury problems have got worse over the weekend and they were facing a real battle to get a side out for the Velocity Trophy first round match.
Luckily, as a result of Bostik League Premier Division outfit Hillians’ FA Cup replay commitments this week, the tie has been rearranged.
Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola and assistant Adam Westwood faced the reality of lacing up their own boots with their 23-man squad decimated by injuries.
Their 5-2 defeat by Herne Bay in the FA Cup on Saturday saw Darren Boswell limp off to join the full-time sidelined list. The midweek rest has been welcomed by Di Paola ahead of their Bostik League South Division clash with fifth-placed Sittingbourne at Culver Road on Saturday.
On whether he welcome the postponement, he said: “Thank God, yes. I was counting up the numbers when we went to 5-2 down on Saturday as at that stage the game was dead by then. I was counting the players and we literally had eight that were fit for Tuesday night.
“I honestly do not know what we would have done. You can’t sign any players in that time, so it’s a blessing for us.
“In some ways it means we now have a backlog of every Saturday and Tuesday, but I would rather that and get a team out.
“It might have got to the stage where me and Wezzo (Adam Westwood) might have had to turn out. With no reserve team it makes it really trick for us and I don’t know what we would have done.
“Luckily it was decided for us with the way the results on Saturday went, so it’s a blessing in disguise.”
Di Paola is now hopeful to have Tom Lawley, Charlie Farmer and Josh James back for the weekend, while Adam Hunt is a 50/50.
Sidelined are Joe Keehan, Chris Breach, Scott Kirkwood and Asa Nicholson. Still out will be Alex Duncan and Boswell, while Jack Hartley, Lewis Hyde and Scott Harris are struggling. Charlie Oatway meanwhile has had to play three consecutive games without a pre-season and after two years out.
They also know they are in for a tough test against Sittingbourne with Di Paola having tipped them for promotion this season.
He added: “They are a good side and were one of my tips at the start of the season. They will probably be the top side from Kent. I think they will be right up there, they are looking like they will be a decent outfit.
“I’d honestly quite like to be playing away from home at the moment. Home games you want to be strong and put on a show, but that’s just life.”
The Velocity Trophy clash with Burgess Hill has been rearranged for Wednesday (September 27) at Culver Road, meaning Tuesday’s league match with Hastings United has been postponed until October 17.