YM win on final day but just miss out on top three

Top scorer Nick Sullivan (left alongside brother Dan) scored a late winner
Top scorer Nick Sullivan (left alongside brother Dan) scored a late winner

A late Nick Sullivan winner ensured Horsham YMCA ended the season with three points, as they beat Chichester City to secure a fourth place finish in Division 1 on Saturday.

The hosts were forced to come from behind after George Landais broke the deadlock for the Lillywhites just before the quarter hour mark. A Dave Brown penalty levelled the scores twelve minutes before half time, and despite a dominant second half display, it looked as if that was how it would end for a frustrated YM.

But as so often has been the case this season, top goalscorer Sullivan provided the all important winner with five minutes left to play, securing the Division 1 top goalscorer accolade in the process.

Sullivan’s late strike took care of business at Gorings Mead, but outside hopes of finishing runners-up were dashed, as results YM were relying on at Fort Road and The Caburn Ground failed to go their way.

Littlehampton Town netted an 89th minute winner to beat Newhaven and pip Buckland’s side to third place by a solitary point, whilst East Grinstead secured second spot with a 3-0 win away at Ringmer.

Manager Peter Buckland said: “I think today was the most frustrated I’ve been all season. I just can’t believe how many chances we missed. I thought the second goal was never going to come.

“Chichester are a good, young side and we knew they weren’t going to run out of legs, so we said what we must do is maximise on our opportunities when they do arise, and we didn’t do that.”

With the scores at 1-1 with five minutes of normal time to play, a fantastic through ball from substitute Josh Brown released Sullivan and after his tame shot was parried, Dugdale’s follow up was poked goalwards and Sullivan was alert to tap in from three yards.

Buckland added: “It was nice to get a win to end the season. I told the players to go out there and do what they’ve got to do and then what will be will be with other results.

Unfortunately it looks as if a late Littlehampton goal has cost us moving up to third place, but we did what we needed to do to give ourselves the best chance.”

YM (4-3-3): Lockwood, D. Sullivan, Burgess, Crane, Evans, O’Carroll (J Brown 80), Gedling, Dugdale, D Brown, Curtis (Gannon 83), N Sullivan.