Horsham travel to Corinthian-Casuals on Tuesday night knowing that the right set of results could put them top of the Isthmian Premier Division for the first time since 2006.
Of course the season is still very much in its infancy but victory over the world-renowned Surrey club would further reinforce the great strides the club has taken during manager Dom Di Paola’s tenure. From the County League to the Isthmian League summit in a little over four seasons would be an outstanding achievement in anyone’s book, let alone for a club that, until this season, was playing its home games 20 miles outside the town, with a modest income and modest gates.
The Hornets have won five and drawn two of their opening eight league matches, with Saturday’s narrow victory at Cheshunt making it 13 points from a possible 15 on the road, but King George’s Field has proven to be an unhappy hunting ground for the club in recent years, with our last success there coming back in November 2005 when a single Lee Carney goal was enough to secure the points. Two draws and three successive defeats have followed, hitting its nadir in 2014 when Anthony Storey and Ryan Woodford were dismissed in a 4-0 horror show, but Di Paola will be encouraged not only by his team’s good start but also by last season’s meeting at Culver Road when the Hornets knocked Casuals out of the FA Trophy with an emphatic 3-0 win.
Last season was, though, one of struggle for the Casuals who finished the season in 17th place following their promotion in 2018. And things look little brighter in this campaign as they are still awaiting their first win in 2019/2020 with only South Central Bedfont Sports (two) having scored fewer Isthmian League goals than their tally of four. They drew a blank again at the weekend, a goalless draw with Potters Bar Town leaving them three points adrift of Wingate & Finchley at the foot of the table. But there is no greater threat to success than complacency and Di Paola will know that Casuals have the personnel to punish his side if they are not 100% focussed.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm, with admission £10 (adults), £6 (60s+), £4 (students) and U18s given FREE entry.
For those unable to make the trip, or who choose to watch the U23s’ County Cup tie with Arundel (ko 7.45pm) at The Camping World Stadium instead, you can follow events at our social media feeds on Facebook or twitter (search @HorshamFC for both) and can get involved by adding #HorshamFC to any post.
Tuesday night’s fixtures:
Bishop’s Stortford v Potters Bar Town
Bognor Regis Town v Leatherhead
Brightlingsea Regent v Enfield Town
Cheshunt v Wingate & Finchley
Corinthian-Casuals v Horsham
East Thurrock United v Margate
Hornchurch v Folkestone Invicta
Merstham v Worthing