.Horsham YMCA manager Peter Buckland praised his side’s ‘sterling performance’ after they swept aside Croydon in the FA Cup extra preliminary round on Saturday.
Martin Smith gave the hosts an early lead after latching on to a through ball, finishing deftly against his former club after five minutes.
YM added a second from the penalty spot immediately after hal time, which was powerfully dispatched by Dean Carden. Croydon converted a penalty themselves on 71 minutes, to set up an exciting finish.
A last-minute save from Aaron Jeal was to be the last of the action, however, as YM advanced to the FA Cup preliminary round at the expense of the SCEL side.
Quick to praise his side, Buckland said: “It was a good win. A hard-fought game against a very strong team with big, physical lads but 2-1 looks tighter than it was. I can honestly say I felt in control of the game from start to finish.”
He continued: “It’s just slowly starting to all come together for us now. We’ve started to gel as a team. It’s a good win and we won a few bob, which is important.
“There were some sterling performances again from the youngsters. It’s really refreshing and given us a good lift.”
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YM took a fifth minute lead, as Smith raced onto a slick pass before driving a sweet finish past Adam Ballard.
In the second half, the hosts were once again quickly out of the blocks, picking up a penalty which was tucked neatly away by Carden to double the lead.
Croydon rallied well and began to build momentum with the visitors kept at bay until they too were awarded penalty. Richard Pingling kept a cool head, placing his spot-kick past Jeal and other than the YM keeper’s last-gasp save, that would be the game’s final piece of action.
Horsham YMCA will host Egham Town in the preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday, August 24. Egham defeated Lancing on penalties in a extra preliminary round replay on Tuesday evening.
YM host Newhaven on Saturday.
Horsham YMCA: A Jeal, Carden, Evans, Gilbert, Harding, C Jeal (Hunt 61), Nwachukwu (Lindsey 75), Ryder, Smith, Daniel, Frankland. Unused: Webb-Olley, Gedling, Nash, Clarke.