Crane comes to YM’s rescue with a late leveller at Pagham

Brad Curtis marked his return from injury with a goal
Brad Curtis marked his return from injury with a goal
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A late Matt Crane header helped Horsham YMCA come from behind to secure a point for the second week running, as they drew 2-2 away at Pagham in Division 1 on Saturday.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to a terrific strike from frontman Howard Neighbour midway through the first half.

YM fought back to level the scores with just under quarter of an hour of the game to go, as substitute Brad Curtis fired home from the edge of the area.

Just minutes later, however, Neighbour grabbed his second of the afternoon to restore the home sides’ advantage and put Pagham in the perfect position to take all three points.

But there was still time for the visitors to share the spoils, as Crane’s header two minutes from time ensured it ended honours even at Nyetimber Lane.

YM manager Peter Buckland said: “It was a good performance, and yet again it was a testament to Division 1 football.

“There are good and bad times to play teams, and we just keep falling into the wrong category. If we’d have played Pagham six or seven weeks ago when they had lost five of their first six league games it might have been different.

“We went down their yesterday and they had their full quota back with their two talisman up top and their game immediately prior being a 9-0 home victory, so it wasn’t a good time to go there.”

Although YM only picked up a point, they jumped back up to fourth in the Division 1 table as Lingfield slipped up at home to Ringmer. But perhaps more importantly, was the return of Adam O’Carroll and goalscorer Curtis following recent injuries.

Buckland added: “At the right time, into November and approaching December, we could be back to a full squad, and that is a good time to have it.

“I’ve been able to introduce Brad and Adam, who both now look, touch wood, to be just about over their injuries, and I think by next Saturday I may even have Craig Grantham, Adam Hutchings and Martin Smith back, so I think we are going to have a nice selection headache.

“All we can do at this stage of the season, with the injuries that we have had, is stay in touch, and I think that’s what we’re managing to do.

YM (4-2-3-1): S. Smith, D. Sullivan, Burgess, Crane, Evans, R. Curtis (O’Carroll), Dugdale (c), Brown, Hunter (B. Curtis), Wood (Gannon), N. Sullivan