Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland was delighted to take all three points from a tough, away mid-week fixture at Eastbourne Town last night.
The visitors led 3-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Sam Schaaf, Josh Brown and Anthony Hibbert, before Town hit back with two goals, including a controversial penalty early in the second half.
A depleted YM, however, held out for their third straight win and Buckland said: “As if it’s not bad enough for a Tuesday night we also had to contend with Brighton v Leeds causing major congestion.
“Allied to the fact that we were without Nick Sullivan, Dan Sullivan Adam O’Carroll, Martin Smith and Joel O’Hara, I had to dig into my squad.”
Debutant Schaaf, despite only having played two games in the last two months, made the dream start with a superb strike inside 30 seconds to give YM the lead.
Ten minutes later it two when youngster Josh Brown left the Town centre-back in his jet stream and fired the ball into the top corner.
YM continued to control the game in terms of possession and chances and on 39 minutes a superb lob over the keeper from 30 yards by man of the match Hibbert gave the visitors a 3-0 lead at the break.
Within a minute of the second half, Matt Crane and Dan Evans decided to dilly dally in their own 18-yard box instead of clearing their lines, allowing Daniel Smith a simple finish.
This was followed shortly by a controversial penalty awarded to Eastbourne as their striker ran straight into Dean Carden in the box, which the referee decided was a foul and Ross Sutton dispatched from 12 yards.
YM then lost talisman Dave Brown to a head injury and Schaaf due to an ongoing ankle problem.
They did, however, see out the game and restrict Town to no more efforts on target for the remainder of the match, for a result more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.
Buckland added: “Apart from one minor lapse in concentration in the 90 minutes, I am delighted with things as we had a patched-up side, so I am absolutely delighted with it.”
Horsham YMCA: Lockwood, Carden, Doherty, Evans, Hibbert, Dugdale, Gedling, D.Brown (Taylor Smith 55), Schaaf (Hyett 60), J.Brown (Gathern 80), Crane. Unused sub: Fox.