Horsham YMCA bounced back from successive Premier Division defeats in some style on Saturday, as they beat bottom of the table St Francis Rangers 15-0 at the Colwell Ground.
The thrashing was the struggling hosts’ heaviest loss of the season so far, and heaped further misery on a winless Rangers side that have scored just once in nineteen league games.
Visitors’ debutant Phil Johnson made the perfect start to life as a YM player following his move from Burgess Hill Town this week, with four well taken goals that included a first half hatrick.
Defender Dan Evans and striker Nick Sullivan both netted a hatrick a piece, with the former’s three strikes all coming from the penalty spot, Dean Wright grabbed a brace, whilst further efforts from Matt Crane, Anthony Hibbert and Dave Brown completed the rout.
YM assistant manager, Dean Potter, commented: “Every single one of the players was superb and I’m delighted. Before the game you look at St Francis’ record and you say to the players that the main thing is three points.
“What I was proud and pleased with was that we kept our discipline. We played for the full ninety minutes. We won 15-0, but it could have been another ten, and I’m not being horrible, with the missed chances we had.
“Whoever you play against, when you’ve lost two games on the trot, you need to win straight away if you can, just to get that winning feeling back again. If you go a long time without winning a game, suddenly the morale can start to go. We needed this win.”
The warning signs of a long afternoon for the home side were present as early as the second minute, as a wonderful Luke Gedling pass freed Brown down the left and he cut inside before curling just wide of the far post.
Nick Sullivan blazed over the crossbar from six yards shortly after and Hibbert tamely poked at St Francis goalkeeper Jake Rudwick moments later, before Johnson coolly converted a Brown cross to break the deadlock and open his YM account just before the quarter hour mark.
A soft penalty decision allowed Evans to net the first of his three spot kicks and double YM’s lead midway through the first half, before Johnson side footed a Sullivan cross into the roof of the net to make it 3-0 ninety seconds later.
A horrible bobble halted the Hillians loanee from rounding off a fifteen minute hatrick as he miscued from ten yards, but the prolific forward didn’t have to wait long to make amends, as he tapped home a Dan Sullivan cross from close range four minutes later.
Unmarked YM centre back Crane then inexplicably headed another Sullivan cross wide of the far post, after which Johnson was again brought down inside the box and Evans again stepped up to expertly convert from twelve yards.
Less than a minute separated the visitors’ sixth and seventh goals just before the break, both scored by front man Sullivan. He first headed home a clipped Wright cross at the near post, before Brown squared for the striker to slide the ball first time past Rudwick from close range.
YM might have reached double figures before half time, but Brown could only find the side netting when well placed, Sullivan was wrongly awarded a free kick after being fouled a comfortable yard inside the penalty area and Brown then blazed over the bar when played clean through by Johnson.
The second forty-five was just as one sided as the first and it didn’t take long for the away side to extend their lead. Wright squared the ball to Johnson from the right flank and the impressive front man slammed home his fourth of the afternoon.
Johnson was inches away from netting a fifth two minutes later as a Brown cross just evaded his outstretched leg at the far post, before St Francis striker David Solomon failed to make the most of a mix up in the YM defence as he sliced the hosts’ best chance of the game well off target.
Visitors’ defender Crane joined in on the goal scoring act when he headed an inch perfect Evans cross into the net unmarked at the far post to make it 9-0 with half an hour still to play.
The goal of the game arrived two minutes later when a tenacious Brown teed up Wright and he rifled the ball into the top corner from twenty-five yards to take YM into double figures, before the striker added his second with a well taken finish shortly after.
Nick Sullivan and Evans then completed their hatricks within nine minutes of one another. Sullivan first converted another Brown cross on the slide to make it 12-0, after which Brown was brought down by Rangers’ stopper Rudwick and Evans made no mistake from the spot for the third time.
YM midfielder Hibbert chested down a Gedling free kick, turned and curled into the far corner from the edge of the area with nine minutes left, before Brown leathered home a well deserved goal in added time to conclude the 15-0 trouncing.
Potter added: “Whoever you play against, to win 15-0 takes a lot and some real class and the players have been that today, right from the warm up. We were very professional and disciplined.
“We played some good football, but we’ve got to take that forwards now. It’s no good doing it against the bottom team and then not putting a performance in against Loxwood, Horsham and Broadbridge Heath, who we’ve got coming up.
“Those are our next three games, which are big local derbies within the space of two weeks. We’ve got Loxwood at home, Horsham away and Broadbridge Heath at home.
“We fancy ourselves against anyone. I was disappointed down at Eastbourne Town. Individual errors cost us, but I thought as a team we didn’t play well.
“We can beat anyone but it’s about consistency in this league. At the moment, Eastbourne Town and Horsham have got that consistency. After our last two games, we need to start building now.”
YM (4-2-3-1): Fox, D. Sullivan (Carden 65), Crane (Pollard 70), Gathern, Evans, Hibbert, Gedling, Brown (c), Johnson (Donaldson 65), Wright, N. Sullivan
Unused subs: Gannon, Dugdale
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