Horsham YMCA progressed into the First Round proper of the FA Challenge Vase with a 4-2 win over Holmesdale at Gorings Mead on Saturday.
Two fantastic headed goals from defender Matt Crane and goals from Lee Smith and Dan Sullivan helped Peter Buckland’s side through, but only after a second half revival from the visitors made them sweat.
“I warned the players before the game today not to go looking at their Kent League results,” said YM boss Buckland... “They’re not a lot different to many of the teams we’ll play in our league week in, week out. We just conceded two stupid goals, and it was frustrating because I had said to them at half time that we were cruising and just to go out there and take the sting out of the game. But we did the exact opposite.”
Crane headed home a long Ashley Dugdale throw to open the scoring midway through the first half, before Smith doubled the hosts’ lead from the penalty spot quarter of an hour later.
The hosts’ then wasted a hatful of further first half chances, and the Dalers - who have lost their first seven games in the Kent Premier League - punished them with burly front man Steven Strotten netting twice in three early second half minutes to draw the visitors level.
YM though almost immediately regained control of the tie, striker Martin Smith missing two clear chances before Dan Sullivan cooly slotted home from close range and seven minutes later the tie was settled when Crane headed home from Dugdale’s third assist from a specialist long throw.
YM will face Pagham in the next round on Saturday October 13 and Buckland added: “It wasn’t a bad performance, but you can still see that we’re a new team playing together. I thought that we’d be a bit more accomplished than we were today, but I still feel we’re getting to know each other. “
YM (4-5-1): Lockwood, Gardner, Hartt, Crane, Stillwell (Lowe 54), Dugdale, Sullivan, Hunter, Burgess (D. Smith 85), L. Smith, M. Smith