Horsham boss Di Paola frustrated by key refereeing decisions

Dominic Di Paola rued Horsham’s luck over key refereeing decisions in their Isthmian Premier clashes against Worthing and Corinthian Casuals.

Horsham goalkeeper Sam Howes appeal over one of Worthing's three penalties. Picture by Stephen Goodger

The Hornets were beaten 3-1 at league leaders Worthing on New Year’s Day, with the hosts awarded a hat-trick of penalties after Eddie Dsane gave the visitors the lead.

One penalty was for handball, when Danny Dudley was red-carded before the referee changed his mind and gave Jack Brivio his marching orders.

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The Horsham manager said: “Worthing are a great side and they don’t need any help to win games. I just feel, on the day, the match official bowed to the crowd a little bit or lost his head a little bit.

“He’s made a couple of poor decisions and it’s killed us really. But it happens.

“It’s annoying. For the first one, it’s never a penalty as long as you play football. But it happens

“With Jack, the referee has admitted he made a mistake sending him off so there were two massive decisions that completely changed the complexion of the game."

On Monday the Hornets drew 1-1 at home to ten-man Casuals.

Lucas Rodrigues headed home before half-time but Casuals levelled on 75 minutes through Ola Williams.

Peter Ojemen saw red for the visitors two minutes later but Horsham couldn’t find the winner.

Di Paola added: “I think a draw with Casuals was a fair result on reflection. We started really well, we’re just not putting teams away when we’ve had the chance to punish them.

“We should have had a penalty in the first half. It was another mistake by the officials, but I’m seeing a lot of mistakes by officials at the moment.

“Hopefully at some stage we will get the rub of the green over the next three-and-a-half to four months and we’ll get some luck that goes our way."

Despite his frustrations with the officiating in both games, Di Paola conceded a referee’s job had become harder since clubs started filming games.

He said: “I think the problem they’ve got at the moment is the video from when clubs film games. I think it’s highlighted how many key decisions are being missed or they’re getting wrong.

“I do feel for the refs a little bit because I do feel video puts a lot more pressure on them whereas in the past it can always be an opinion. They’re under the spotlight because we all film games and that video goes up on social media.

“I’m not battering them too much but I do feel there’s a lot of mistakes in games from referees at our level.”