Report courtesy of Horsham YMCA Website. Thank you
On the day that Dean Carden started his 400th game in YM colours,(more here), the team laboured through difficult conditions and against a determined Arundel opposition to clinch a 1-0 victory that puts the club at the top of the SCFL Premier Division.
A rampant Horsham YMCA delivered their seventh win from their last eight games, leapfrogging Haywards Heath – whose match was postponed – at thetop of the table.
After 25 matches YM have 51 points, one ahead of HaywardsHeath, who have played 24 times, YM Manager Peter Buckland saying:
“At this stage of the season points are better than a game in hand!”
So far this season the YM pitch has stood up well to an abundance of football, but with three teams in action at Gorings Mead the recent wet weather has taken its toll and, understandably, the surface was very slippery.
YM got off to a strong start, earning five first half corners and Dave Brown hit the bar, but they just couldn’t get the ball over the line, the score remaining goal-less up to the break.
YM restarted with intent, Phil Johnson breaking through, but, with Arundel keeper Dan Stevens out of position, Dave Brown blazed over when a side-foot might have done. Stevens then saved well, the resultant corner being headed over.
But, mid way into the second half, YM skipper Ashley Dugdale scored with a clean strike, putting YM in front.
After Arundel had cleared off the line, YM blasted over before Brown scythed through the defence, passing rather than shooting.
Reprieved, Arundel attacked on the rebound, only to see their challenging header - destined for the top right corner of the goal – tipped over by Aaron Jeal, who then safely caught the corner. Further pressure from Arundel followed, but a free kick and two more corners were successfully averted.
In the final minutes, in miserably damp and gloomy conditions, a YM goal mouth scramble somehow stayed out ahead of Brown bursting into the box and earning a corner, from which his shot rebounded to Dugdale, who hit the post.
Another YM corner came and went, but they had done enough to secure three valuable points.
Although Arundel occupy the bottom end of the table, they are a battling side, and, at their lowest ebb of the season, YM lost 3-1 to them at Mill Lane, Peter Buckland offering to resign.
However, since then there has been a dramatic and consistent improvement in YM’s form, enabling them to beat the top sides and steadily move up the table, Peter Buckland telling the District Post:
“At half time I couldn’t see Arundel scoring, but they were determined not to lose, and I could see them keeping a clean sheet, so it was a great win for us. We’ve worked our way up from fourth from bottom to top of the league and we’re absolutely delighted with that – but we are taking nothing for granted!”
1. Dan Stevens
2. Rob Lofting
3. Ash Hunter
4. Jordan Dudas (Capt)
5. Elliot Dollner
6. Ryan Hallett
7. Jake Ebling
8. Dion Jarvis
9. George Roberts (45 mins)
10. Shane Brazil
11. Connor Bull (70 mins)
12. Rory Biggs (45 mins)
14. Dan Fitzpatrick (70 mins)
15. Griel Come