Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland had no complaints from their home defeat to Newhaven and was keen to draw a line under a bad day at the office.
It was one of the Gorings Mead outfit’s heaviest defeats of the season but Buckland was quick to admit ‘the best team won’.
YM weren’t without their problems after losing Phil Johnson to a hip injury and Nick Sullivan to work commitments on the morning of the game. Sam Schaaf, who also tried to pull out with illness, was forced to play as the club’s only fit striker.
YM then also suffered a horror-start on the pitch and found themselves 2-0 down inside ten minutes.
Dan Evans slipped when trying to clear the ball and Lee Robinson latched onto the long pass forward and squared for Elliott Wood to tap home after 45 seconds.
Dean Carden then slipped at the back, but after recovering, a mix-up between him and goalkeeper Sam Smith resulted in the defender hauling down his Newhaven opponent in the box.
Scott Taylor converted to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot.
YM did pull one back five minutes before half-time through Brad Curtis, but the Dockers’ Ryan Knight added a third a minute before the break after Evans headed a corner towards his own goal.
Newhaven then protected their lead in the second half and Robinson added a trademark goal on the break, while Carden was sent-off at full-time for foul and abusive language.
Buckland said: “I did not see it coming, but it was a disaster from the first minute to the last. It was one of those days.
“At 10pm on Friday I was fully stacked, at 10am on Saturday morning I had lost three strikers, but that is not looking for excuses, on the day, the best team won.
“We still had a good YM side out on the pitch and after the warm-up everyone was bubbly and had the wind up them, but after five minutes we were 2-0 down.
“In the second half it was all over really, they did what they needed to do. They are experienced enough to sit back and say come at us, while they attacked us on the break.
“We have played each other so many times and it’s normally such a tight game - they were draws home and away last year.
“But if you conceded twice early on, inside ten minutes, you are up against it at any level.
“I did not panic after the game, actually we played ok, so I was quite relaxed about it, it was one of those. Everything they touched ended up in the back of the net, just like it did for us at Lancing.”
YM overcame division-lower Steyning Town 3-1 in a friendly on Tuesday night.
Buckland’s side now travel to Haywards Heath Town on Saturday, before making the trip to Eastbourne Town on Tuesday night, both in league action.
Horsham YMCA: Smith, Carden, Gilbert, Crane, Evans, Brown, Howell, Dugald, Simpson, Curtis, Schaaf. Subs: Buchanan, Gathern, Shipton.
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