Johnson brace helps YM to derby double over Loxwood

Horsham YMCA's Dan Sullivan and Loxwood's Michael Wood
Horsham YMCA's Dan Sullivan and Loxwood's Michael Wood

Horsham YMCA completed the Premier Division double over near neighbours Loxwood helped by a brace from recent signing Phil Johnson.

The 3-0 win leaves YM three points behind league leaders Eastbourne Town and a point behind tenants Horsham, while was ninth-placed Loxwood’s third straight defeat.

Johnson opened the scoring with an excellent finish just before the quarter hour mark, before top goalscorer Dave Brown doubled YM’s advantage on the stroke of half-time.

The visitors enjoyed a large share of the second half possession, but they failed to make their dominance count, and Johnson sealed all three points with another neat finish in added time to mark his sixth goal in two starts.

Clear-cut opportunities were at a premium and two typically technical and free flowing, footballing outfits were all too often wasteful in possession.

Loxwood did still control prolonged spells of the game, despite only offering a single shot on target, and YM can be complimented on their resolute, compact and disciplined defensive display.

Horsham YMCA's Phil Johnson (right) congratulated for his second goal

Horsham YMCA's Phil Johnson (right) congratulated for his second goal

Johnson’s opener came as he took a single touch to bring down a Dan Sullivan pass inside the box, before firing first time across goal and into the far corner.

The first period quickly petered out, as niggling fouls and sloppy distribution littered proceedings, but right on the stroke of half time YM dealt Loxwood a killer blow against the run of play.

A poorly-cleared cross following a throw in deep inside the visitors’ half fell kindly for Brown just inside the box, and his low shot crept into the far corner to make it 2-0.

Loxwood began the brighter of the two sides after the break, but they failed to capitalise on a sluggish YM start, as Gary Pritchard fired an off balance shot wide of the near post and Mark Cave dragged a second effort well past the far upright.

Horsham YMCA's Sam Schaaf and Loxwood`s Eddie French battle it out

Horsham YMCA's Sam Schaaf and Loxwood`s Eddie French battle it out

Magpies’ Jon Nurse shot off target and Brown clattered the post for the hosts late on, before a lightening YM breakaway allowed Johnson to show his class again in added time as he coolly beat the ‘keeper to complete the scoring.

Horsham YMCA: Fox, D.Sullivan, Gathern, Dugdale, Carden, Hibbert, Gedling, Brown, Wright, Johnson, Schaaf (Donaldson 80). Unused subs: Wood.

Loxwood: Hilfiker, Holvey, French Courtney, Summerfield (Wood), Jee (Pitcher), Scally, Cave, Swaine (Simpson), Nurse, Pritchard.

Full reaction from both camps in Thursday’s West Sussex County Times.

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