‘We don’t look like relegation outfit’ exclaims Horsham boss after South Park victory

Horsham FC. Tom Lawley. Pic Steve Robards SR1626347 SUS-160913-134103001
Horsham FC. Tom Lawley. Pic Steve Robards SR1626347 SUS-160913-134103001

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola says his side do not look like a team set for a relegation battle this season.

The Hornets climbed up to 14th in the Ryman League South Division as they clinched victory away at in-form South Park.

A first-half strike from Steve Metcalf and goals from Lee Carney and Tom Lawley in an impressive second-half showing saw Horsham overcome their hosts who were unbeaten in five outings.

Di Paola was pleased with the three points and performance after last midweek’s disappointment of being edged out by leaders Greenwich Borough.

He said: “First half we played up the hill and it was really hard. I have not been there before and there is quite a hill.

“It’s a bit like the days at Whitehawk playing up the slope and they banged it in on us which made it hard to get out.

“Second half, down the hill, we played some good stuff and were well worthy of the win. It could have been more as well as Lee Carney had a couple of really good chances.

“We did well and I was really pleased with the result. We have been in good form in the last eight games now since the Sittingbourne game, really, that was the last disappointing result.

“We have either lost or drawn when we have played well since. We have let in silly goals and dropped points, but that’s the nature of the league.

“We just have to pick up points when we can, but the last eight games we have not looked like a relegation team.”

Horsham opened the scoring on Saturday with virtually their first attack through Metcalf. After a one-two with Terry Dodd via a backheel, the defender’s deflected shot found the back of the net.

Just four minutes later, Park drew level when Jackson took advantage of Scott Harris’ poor clearance and squeezed home past Josh Pelling and his near post.

Asa Rixon-Nicholls’ shot from range flew over the bar, while Dodd’s effort struck the woodwork with a volley.

South Park’s best chance to go ahead was through Dan Moody, but he somehow fired wide when well placed from a left-wing cross.

In the second half, Carney’s first-time shot from a Liam MacDevitt pass was blocked well by goalkeeper James Wastell.

The away pressure did tell on 71 minutes as MacDevitt’s cross found Carney who fired home from an acute angle despite the ball escaping back out of the net from a hole in the side netting.

Darren Boswell had an effort saved by Wastell, before at the other end, Pelling made two quick-fire saves.

Lawley made the points safe in injury-time as he rode a challenge and finished past Wanstall when one-on-one.

Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf, Jones, Farmer, Hyde (Duncan) Boswell, Brandford, Carney, Whitehead (Boswell), MacDevitt, Dodd (Lawley).