Horsham boss Di Paola 'pleased in lots of ways' after back-to-back away games

Dominic Di Paola was pleased by Horsham’s pair of Isthmian Premier road performances this week.

Saturday saw the Hornets strike late to beat Cheshunt 2-1 away from home.

The hosts went ahead early on eight minutes through Rowan Liburd before Tom Kavanagh equalised from the penalty spot before half-time.

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Horsham bagged the winner with four minutes remaining when Charlie Harris coolly fired a first-time effort past the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Charlie Harris netted a late winner for Horsham at Cheshunt on Saturday. Picture by Derek Martin Photography and Art

Tuesday night saw the injury-hit Hornets fall to a 2-0 loss at play-off chasing Hornchurch.

Tobi Joseph put the Urchins in front on 34 minutes. Tom Wraight sealed the win for the hosts with two minutes to go.

Di Paola said: "I thought we played brilliantly on Saturday against Cheshunt. I thought we were worthy of a result.

"Sam [Howes] made a good save at 1-1 but they didn’t trouble us massively. We were knocking on the door, seeing if we could get the result, and we were excellent.

"It’s a really tough place to go. They’re bang in form and we were great on the day.

"I thought we did well in the first half against Hornchurch. We probably should have gone in at half-time level.

"Sham [Fenelon] missed a good chance, but in the second half I thought they were the better side.

"I think they deserved the win on Tuesday. I don’t think we were quite good enough on the night.

"But you can’t fault the effort from the boys. We had 12 fit players on Tuesday. The bench was made up of injured players.

"Playing against one of the division’s better sides you need to have options and players that are fit.

"But credit to the boys. One or two played with knocks and we gave a good account of ourselves. I was pleased in lots of ways.

This Saturday sees Horsham entertain fellow FA Cup heroes Bowers & Pitsea.

Bowers, like the Hornets, enjoyed a fairytale run in this season's competition, culminating in a trip to a Football League club in the first round proper.

The Essex club travelled to League One club Lincoln City, fought valiantly, but fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat. Horsham-born Max Sanders netted the winner for the Imps.

Both sides were languishing at the foot of the table after their respective FA Cup exits. But Horsham have since kicked on, winning six consecutive league games after their cup loss at Carlisle United, to move into mid-table.

Bowers, meanwhile, sit 17th and are just two points clear of possible relegation to step four.

Di Paola said: "They were third-from-bottom and we were bottom when we both went out of the cup. We’ve both had a pretty tricky season in that respect.

"But they’re a good side. They’re well-organised and they beat us up at their place so we know they’re all about."

The Hornets hope to welcome back the injured Tom Richards, Rob O’Toole and Charlie Hester-Cook for Saturday’s game, but Tom Day has been ruled out due to Covid.

Di Paola revealed that he may look to bring in bodies to bolster his threadbare squad for the run in.

He said: "We might have to look at getting one or two in for the run in but we’ll have to see how everyone recovers.

"We have been a bit threadbare in the last two or three games."