Buckland wants improvement despite YMCA’s recent revival

Horsham YMCA's Alex Gathern blocks Hassocks' Josh Hawkes attempt at goal

Horsham YMCA's Alex Gathern blocks Hassocks' Josh Hawkes attempt at goal

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Horsham YMCA’s recent return to form continued on Tuesday evening, as they saw off Hassocks in league action at Gorings Mead.

After four straight defeats and three cup exits at the start of the month, YM have responded by recording four successive league wins to leave them fifth in the Premier Division table.

Horsham YMCA's Dave Brown scoring their first goal against Hassocks

Horsham YMCA's Dave Brown scoring their first goal against Hassocks

But despite their positive reaction, and an average of four goals a game in their last four fixtures, manager Peter Buckland believes his players can still improve further.

He said: “We targeted 12 points out of 12 from the last four games and we’ve done it. But we can’t ever settle for where we are at. We’ve got to keep pushing the boundaries all the time in the lead up to Christmas, when we can turn the corner well in contention.

“That is 29 points now, but I’ve pointed out to the players that the goal difference between us and a couple of clubs is not healthy, so we need to rack up some goals.

“I think this season is going to go right down to the wire and we don’t want to be looking back and thinking ‘if only’. You could potentially not go up by a goal, on goal difference. That’s how crucial it is and that’s why I spat my dummy out when we conceded a goal.”

Dave Brown opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark as he headed past the onrushing visitors’ stopper Reece Wickwar before slamming into an empty net.

A Josh Hawkes own goal doubled the advantage five minutes later as after Wickwar had parried a low Dan Evans drive, Dan Jacques’ clearance hit the skipper and went it.

Former Robin Anthony Hibbert netted his third goal in as many games as he converted from close range shortly after the restart, before Jamie Hillwood’s low 12-yard drive reduced the deficit midway through the second period.

A resolute YM defence coped well with sustained pressure, and added a late gloss when a marauding Evans run saw the full-back space rifle the ball into the roof of the net.

Horsham YMCA: Fox, D.Sullivan, Gathern, Crane, Evans, Gedling, Dugdale, Hibbert, D.Brown, Donaldson (White 72), Schaaf (Wright 62). Unused: Pollard, Zydonik, Lockwood.

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