Horsham would have beaten Eastbourne Town last night had they kept all 11 men on the field, boss Simon Colbran insisted.
They were certainly in a good position, leading 1-0 after Aaron Scott’s 15th minute opener, when just two minutes later Jordan Clarke marked his home debut with a straight red card for striking out at Luke Denton.
Colbran’s side battled manfully with ten men for the remaining 73 minutes, but goals from Ross Treleaven, Dan Bolwell and Matt Aldred after the break condemned Horsham to a fifth league defeat in six games.
“I’d say without a doubt if we’d have had 11 men we’d have won that game,” Colbran said. “We would have won that game with 11 men, but obviously losing a player in the first 20 minutes, it’s hard to defend all that time when the other team gradually find spaces, they don’t have to work so hard as us, but with 11 men we’d have won that.
“It just goes to show how much we have picked up, I mean they went and beat Dulwich 2-0 on Saturday, but they had three wonder-strikes really and other than that they didn’t do a lot.
“We were the better side without a doubt, we played the better football, we were stronger and fitter than them and worked harder than them. It’s just having ten men is always hard against a decent side who’ve got decent players who can pull out goals like they did.”
Despite the defeat Colbran felt he got the reaction he demanded in terms of commitment following two poor defeats to the league’s bottom two sides in a week.
The work-rate was notably higher all round the side and there were some positive performances from the likes of Adam Hutchings, Ryan Marriott and Tony Nwachukwu, while the addition of Jahmahl King seemed to shore up the defence.
Colbran though was left incensed by what he called a ‘stupid’ sending off which he felt cost Horsham anything from the game. “I think he just pushed him and as soon as you raise your hands you get send off,” he said. “But it’s absolutely ridiculous, I just cannot believe we’re 1-0 up, playing really well and looking like we’d go on to win the game and he goes and does something stupid like that.
“(There’s been) no apologies, no nothing he just went home. We’re talking about attitude, commitment and the rest and then he does that and just goes home. That’s not the attitude we’re looking for. He 100 per cent let the team down without a doubt.”
The result means Horsham are without a win in nine games so far in 2013, and with bottom of the table Three Bridges drawing 2-2 with Worthing last night they narrowed the gap to nine points, albeit having played two games more.