Horsham YMCA were comfortable 4-0 winners in their FA Vase First Qualifying Round replay against Worthing United.
After Saturday’s first match finished 5-5 in a ‘bonkers’ draw, there was no such drama at Gorings Mead last night as Martin Smith, Dan Sullivan, Ashley Dugdale and Russell Hartt netted to book a Second Qualifying Round tie against Kent Premier League side Holmesdale.
Manager Peter Buckland said: “We’re absolutely looking to progress in the Vase. The club earned five hundred quid tonight, and there’s seven hundred quid up for grabs in the next round, which, as well as the footballing side, is as good an incentive as we need.
“If the Holmesdale game was away that would be a tricky old tie, but at home, we’re one hundred percent looking to beat them and progress in the competition.”
The hosts made far lighter work of their fellow County League opponents than they managed in Saturday’s 5-5 draw, a result which forced Peter Buckland’s side into their third encounter with the Mavericks in nine days - once in the league and twice in the Vase.
YM dominated Tuesday night’s game from start to finish, and should really have hit double figures. Russell Hartt, playing in an unfamiliar role up front, powered a free header wide early on, before the in-form Martin Smith twice saw Worthing goalkeeper Dean Fuller deny him when one-on-one.
The hosts rarely looked troubled at the back, but continually failed to take their chances in front of goal. However, talisman Smith, who netted a hatrick against the Mavericks on Saturday, finally beat the resistant Fuller on the half hour mark, when he latched onto a brilliant Tim Martin through ball and slotted home.
And two minutes later YM’s lead had doubled, as a poor Worthing clearance fell to Dan Sullivan, who took the ball down, nipped past two defenders and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner from twelve yards.
But despite the half time advantage, Buckland was still irritated by his players’ lack of composure in front of goal. “It was very frustrating for me. I gave them a bit of a wellying at half time, because we’ve got to learn to bury our chances.
“It worries me that we’ve got the likes of Ringmer and Peacehaven coming up, where we’ll need to take our chances. It’s hard to criticise them because they’re still creating the opportunities, but we just need that little bit more composure in front of goal,” he added.
And whatever Buckland said at half time seemed to work, as two quick goals early in the second period, had the game wrapped up with over half an hour to play.
A Dan Sullivan corner was first stabbed home by Ashley Dugdale after Dean Cox’s header was cleared off the line, before minutes later a long Cox ball over the top evaded the entire Worthing defence, and Hartt rounded the ‘keeper to tap home YM’s fourth.
Smith could have then doubled his tally for the night and put YM further out of sight, but he sliced wide when clean through, before substitute Matt Evans also lacked composure when well placed late on.
“It could have been seven or eight at least tonight - the dominance was there.” Buckland concluded. “I know the last fifteen to twenty minutes the game was won at 4-0 and we took our foot off the pedal a bit, but I never doubted the result if I’m being honest.”
A win against Holmesdale will set up an all-County League Division 1 tie with either Pagham or Chichester City in the First Round proper.