Horsham YMCA extended their unbeaten run to eight games on Saturday, although manager Peter Buckland considered their 1-1 draw away at Hassocks as two points dropped rather than a point gained.
The YM boss said: “It was a wasted opportunity today and definitely two points dropped. They’re such a good set of lads and they were really, really disappointed, and it’s really frustrating when you put in such an effort.”
YM travelled to the Beacon without a recognised striker, with Nick Sullivan and Leroy Hyett both unavailable through work and Craig Grantham failing a late fitness test, which meant handing an unfamiliar lone role up front to Brad Curtis.
The first period was an evenly contested affair, but it was the Robins who came out on top after Jamie Ingham out-muscled YM defender Adam O’Carroll to put the hosts ahead just before the break.
Buckland made changes at half time - pushing Liam Hunter upfront alongside Curtis and going 4-4-2, which provided a much needed catalyst for the visitors’ dominant second half display.
YM captain Ashley Dugdale headed home from a corner to level the scores five minutes into the second half, before a deluge of pressure from the visitors ensued, albeit to no avail.
“We just missed that finishing touch and a bit of composure up front.” Buckland cadded. “I needed a bit more calmness in the last third because we were all a bit frantic and snatchy. If I’d had at least one of the three forwards available today, a fox in the box, we would have comfortably won.
Last Wednesday night YM had no such troubles in front of goal with a 4-0 win at St Francis Rangers, Dan Evans, Dan Sullivan, Dean Cox and Leroy Hyett with the goals.
YM now host Crowborough Athletic in another big Division 1 Clash at Gorings Mead on Tuesday evening, before they travel to Shoreham’s Middle Road for their Sussex RUR Charity Cup Semi-Final against Ringmer on Thursday.
YM (4-3-2-1): Lockwood, Carden, O’Carroll (Burgess 70), Crane, Evans, Gedling, Dugdale (c), Hunter (Cox 70), D. Sullivan, D. Brown, B. Curtis (Grantham 85)