FA Cup stalemate leaves Horsham manager 'frustrated'

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola. Picture by Derek Martin Photography
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola. Picture by Derek Martin Photography

Dominic Di Paola revealed he was left 'so frustrated at the end of the match' following Horsham's 1-1 draw at ten-man Metropolitan Police in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday.

The in-form Chris Smith poked home to put the Hornets 1-0 up on 12 minutes. Smith thought he had doubled the advantage three minutes later but his striker was ruled out for offside.

After the break the Old Bill began to assert control and bagged an equaliser on 59 minutes as Ollie Knight nodded home from Jack Mazzone's lovely cross.

The Met's Jordi Nzozid was given his marching orders after a second yellow on 68 minutes but the hosts held on to force a replay at The Camping World Community Stadium tomorrow (Tuesday) night (7.45pm kick-off).

Di Paola admitted he thought Horsham were 'the better team' in the draw but rued the Hornets lack of cutting edge in the final third.

Speaking to horshamfc.co.uk he said: “We just didn’t test the goalkeeper and that was why we were so frustrated at the end of the match.

"We weren’t annoyed at the performance itself as I thought we were the better team but we’ve got to create more than we did.

"It’s never easy playing against ten-men as they changed their formation, parked the bus, and tried to catch us on the counter-attack so you’ve got to be on your game to break them down and we just didn’t do that.

"I thought we were unlucky in the first half because Smudge has scored a terrific goal to put us 2-0 up, only for it to be ruled out for offside. If that had stood then you’re talking about a totally different outcome.

"But then I’m sure they’ll be saying something similar as they had two chances to win it late on so we’ve just got to be grateful to get a second chance.”