Peter Buckland revealed he was ‘over the moon’ as Horsham YMCA booked their place in the second round of the FA Vase.
YM needed extra-time as they fought back from a goal down to clinch a 3-2 victory against the Wessex League Premier Division side.
Right from the first whistle Horndean were extremely fast-paced and physical, but YM showed willing and ready to face up to the challenge, and matched their visitor’s work rate and drive.
Goals from Dean Carden, Sam Schaaf and Matt Simpson completed the cup victory to set up a second round tie away to league rivals Lancing.
Reflecting on an intense afternoon, Buckland said: “The two sides were very evenly matched, but it was a cracking game of football.
“I was disappointed that we conceded their second goal with five minutes to go, with a lack of concentration for a split second but that’s all it takes. However, we are now in the second round of the Vase, and I am over the moon.
“The whole team played so well and everyone deserves recognition, and even though we went 1-0 down we carried on and got the result we wanted.”
The visitors took the lead after just 12 minutes as YM defender Alex Gathern conceded a penalty which was converted.
YM fought back and won a penalty four minutes later. Carden took the spot kick, which was deflected out off the goalkeeper, the right-back’s blushes were spared as he tucked away the rebound.
The rest of the second half was end to end, with narrow misses from Horndean following excellent build up play. YM’s Phil Johnson and Dave Brown linked up effectively as Schaaf went closest as he headed the ball centimetres wide of the bottom-right corner.
The second half was as intense as the first half between the evenly-matched teams. A penalty was awarded to YM with ten minutes of the match remaining for a push in the box on Johnson.
Carden again stepped up, but for the second time in the afternoon his spot kick was saved by the keeper and this time, defended out of the box.
The last ten minutes of play were nail-bitingly intense with both sides going close to a winner in normal time.
With that goal not emerging, extra-time was needed in which during the first half, YM stopper Lewis Blaney, was called upon to make a number of good saves.
It was however YM that took the lead as Schaaf’s shot bounced off the post, before he placed the ball into the net after a goalmouth scramble.
At the other end, Simpson made a heroic block off of the goalline following Horndean’s counter attack.
Two minutes into the second half of extra time, Simpson was in action at the other end as he headed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net for a 3-1 lead.
Horndean did pull another back late on, but YM held out for a place in the second round and the £675 prize money.
Horsham YMCA: Blaney, Carden, Cooke, Gathern, Harding, Johnson, Gilbert, Dugdale (Spinks 106), Brown, Godfrey (Simpson 60), Schaaf. Unused: Burgess, Shipton, Fox.