Horsham YMCA hit five against Little Common but Buckland rues 'flukey goals'
Peter Buckland felt the scoreline flattered Little Common in Horsham YMCA's 5-3 home win on Saturday which saw them extend their lead at the top of the Premier Division.
YM are now four points ahead of second-placed Newhaven and eight ahead of Chichester City, who had their game against bottom-side Eastbourne United postponed due to adverse playing conditions.
Both Newhaven and Chi, however, have one and two games in hand respectively.
Guy Harding and Dean Bown put YM 2-0 up but Common hit back through Jamie Crone. Bown hit his second before Lewis Parsons pegged the Gorings Mead-outfit back before half-time.
Alex Barbary scored a second-half double, before Jordan Astell netted a late consolation goal for the visitors as Buckland’s side gained revenge for their Sussex Senior Cup defeat earlier this month.
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Buckland said: “The first half we played the best football we’ve played in a long time. We went 2-0 up but we should have been 4-0 up before the break.
“Callum Donaghey went off with an injury before half-time and while we had ten men on the pitch they put a ball straight through the hole where Callum would normally have been and they pulled a goal back.
“For their second, it took a 45-yard deflected shot to beat Aaron Jeal, and he was only four-yards off his line, but it was an absolute fluke. It was the same right at the end.
“It’s on 90-plus minutes and another lad had a shot that hit the back of Dan Evans’ heel and it just looped over Aaron. On a normal day, I’d expect Aaron to save them.
“He won’t mind me saying publicly but he flew in from Las Vegas and landed in the small hours and it showed. We never had any other options on Saturday but he’s a good lad and a sound ‘keeper.
“I will say that Little Common aren’t a bad side and their league position is baffling. They play lovely retention football, however they got two flukey goals.
“They must have gone home from Goring Mead thinking, ‘how did we get three goals today?’ The scoreline flatters them.”
YM opened the scoring on ten minutes as Harding rose highest to head home from a corner. Four minutes later Tony Garrod’s free kick found Bown and he swivelled and struck inside the box to double the lead.
Crone then reduced the deficit for Common on 23 minutes as his finish from a tight angle beat the onrushing Jeal. Bown then hit back five minutes later as his delicious volley dropped into the top right corner to make it 3-1 after a 13-pass YM move.
Parsons’ speculative free kick from 45-yards out somehow flew over Jeal’s head to make it 3-2 and compound a madcap 30 minutes.
The hosts lead as the half-time whistle went and extended their lead in the second half. On the hour Garrod’s thunderous strike was parried by visiting ‘keeper Matt Cruttwell but only as far as Barbary who was on hand to finish.
YMCA made it five as a Harding corner found Barbary who applied the finish with seven minutes to go. There was still time for another Common goal as Astell’s late strike made it 5-3 before the full-time whistle.
YM travel to Hassocks on Saturday.
Horsham YMCA: Jeal, Carden, Harding, Gill, Donaghey (Evans 69), Mobsby (Schaaf 73), Hartley (Nwachukwu 73), Gedling, Bown, Garrod, Barbary.