Horsham boss Di Paola pleased with returning trio, jokes about wayward shooting and praises Storrington

Lee Harding made his Horsham return against Storrington in the Sussex Senior Cup. Picture by John Lines
Lee Harding made his Horsham return against Storrington in the Sussex Senior Cup. Picture by John Lines

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola joked his side needed to recalibrate their shooting after hitting the woodwork six times in their Sussex Senior Cup success on Tuesday night.

The Bostik League South East side beat Storrington 2-0 to book their spot in the third round of the competition thanks to goals in each half from Chris Smith and Jack Brivio.

Smith opened the scoring for a near full-strength Hornets when he fired in from the angle on 13 minutes as the visitors controlled proceedings.

The hosts remained in the game, but had the woodwork to thank on numerous occasions as well as several decent stops from a former Horsham goalkeeper Gary Elliott. The second goal did eventually come on 63 minutes when Jack Brivio fired home from a Smith cross.

Di Paola said: “We hit the woodwork six times, so I think we need to recalibrate our shooting a bit as we are five inches out! In three games we have hit the woodwork ten times.

“Their keeper made some great saves and they battled, you have to give them credit.

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“If they played like that every week they would be in the top six in that league - they worked really hard.

“We were comfortable though and had about 85 per cent possession and weren’t under a huge amount of pressure.”

It was a positive night all-round as Lee Harding made his first start since September having missed ten games with a fractured wrist, while Scott Kirkwood and Jack Hartley, who have been on loan building fitness at Shoreham and Horsham YMCA respectively, featured from the bench.

Di Paola added: “Lee was dead after 20 minutes, but we got an hour into him and need to get him back up to speed now.

“Scott got 45 minutes and Jack Hartley came on and we were able to rest Joe Shelley and Steve Metcalf with Joey Taylor and Rob O’Toole not involved as well.

"Jack has played a couple of games up at YM and just needs to play as he has been out since February. We really rate him, but needs game time and confidence.

"He scored for YM on Saturday and came on last night and played well.

"Kirky will play for Shoreham on Saturday and he is one that needs three or four 90 minutes as he is still a bit rusty.

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"They will go back out (on loan) now, but neither would have been able to play last night as both Shoreham and YM were in the Senior Cup as well, so it made sense that they came in for us.

“One worry was that George Hayward had to come off with a knock, but in generally it was good evening and performance."