Dominic Di Paola was relieved ‘to be on the right end of a tight game’ after Horsham claimed a late 1-0 victory over Hornchurch to go top of the BetVictor Premier Division on Saturday.
The game saw the Hornets boss possession without creating anything clear-cut but that changed with ten minutes to go.
Charlie Harris tapped home from his own rebound to send Horsham to the league’s summit.
The Hornets had controlled games against Folkestone Invicta in the league and Dartford in the FA Cup but had little to show for it, falling to defeat in both matches.
Di Paola was delighted to right those wrongs against the high-flying Urchins.
He said: “We said at half-time we wanted to be on the right end of a tight game because in the Dartford and Folkestone games we weren’t.
“After the first five minutes we adjusted to their shape well. We played some really good football in the first half and I think we were the better team.
“It was a pretty even game with us managing to come out on top. We didn’t achieve that against Dartford or Folkestone.
“To come out on top when it’s tight is a new one for us.”
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The first half saw Harris, Chris Smith and Kieron Pamment all forge half-chances for the Hornets.
Despite the host’s efforts, a George Bentley error almost gave the visitors the lead before half-time. A shanked clearance from a Hornets throw saw the ball spin back into the box.
Bentley charged off his line but Chris Dickson nipped in front of him to poke towards goals. Luckily for Bentley the ball was hacked off the line.
Horsham had a superb chance to break the deadlock four minutes after the restart. Jack Brivio let fire with a ferocious 25-yard piledriver that beat the keeper but rattled the bar.
The Hornets came agonisingly close to going ahead on 67 minutes. Pamment fizzed a cross into the six-yard box but substitute Zack Newton couldn’t quite make contact to touch home.
But Horsham’s hard-work was rewarded with ten minutes to go. Harris’ Exocet rocket from 30-yards crashed against the crossbar.
The ball rebounded out to Newton who laid the ball into Harris to tuck into an empty net and spark delirium in the stands.
Horsham: Bentley, Mills, Sparks, Brivio, Shelley, Miles (Merchant 9), O’Toole (Newton 60), Dawson, Smith (Harding 89), Harris, Pamment. Unused: Metcalf, Kelly.