A battling Horsham YMCA overcame Hassocks for the second time in four days, as they progressed into the quarter finals of the RUR Cup with a 3-2 win at Gorings Mead on Tuesday evening.
YM skipper Ashley Dugdale cancelled out a Craig Knowles opener to make it 1-1 with half an hour gone, before the hosts saw youngster Tom Gannon shown a straight red for an alleged dangerous tackle shortly before half time.
Despite the disadvantage in personnel, YM came out fighting in the second period.
Dave Brown saw an effort from just outside the box find its way past Robins ‘keeper Alex Harris to make it 2-1 four minutes after the restart, before Dan Sullivan extended the hosts advantage five minutes later.
An Anthony Hibbert strike just three minutes after that, however, halved the deficit for Hassocks, and despite some late pressure from the visitors, Peter Buckland’s side held on to make it eleven games unbeaten and set up a tie with Rye United in the last eight.
Though it was a tougher game then the 5-0 win over the same side a few days before, YM boss Buckland beamed: “I’m as high as a kite at the moment. That has given me as much pleasure as any victory so far, just because of the mere fact that it was against a really good team that can punish you even with eleven men. It’s brilliant when a game plan comes together.
“Hassocks came here a lot more physical than they were on Saturday.
They learnt their lesson at the weekend, and the only way we were going to beat them was to up the pace another five yards and match them all over the park.
“There wasn’t a great deal at stake with it being the RUR Cup, but when you’ve got an unbeaten run going, the best thing you can do is keep that run going, and so I couldn’t ask any more of the players.”
YM (4-2-3-1): S. Smith, Wood (Hutchings 60), Burgess,Crane, Evans, Dugdale (c), Hunter (O’Carroll 72), D.Brown, Gannon, D. Sullivan, N. Sullivan (M. Smith 60).