Horsham YMCA move level with Loxwood at the top after home win
Horsham YMCA went joint-top of SCFL Premier Division Supplementary Group D with a 2-1 home victory over Loxwood on Saturday.
YM and the Magpies both have six points from two games. Loxwood sit above Horsham YMCA by virtue of goal difference.
Confident Loxwood came to Gorings Mead with two consecutive wins, but a highly creditable, battling performance from emerging YM secured their second victory on the bounce, with delighted YM manager Dean Carden saying: “We’ve got depth now, and are getting goals and enjoying ourselves!”
Loxwood came out hard, immediately crossing in front of goal and earning two corners, the second of which was booted off the line.
With YM struggling to clear and retain possession, Josh Bradley fired straight at keeper Jack Webb-Olley.
The visitors were giving nothing away, but another corner came and went, ahead of YM’s first real foray, Callum Chesworth heading a corner wide.
Loxwood then blazed over, but YM were playing themselves into the game with another corner, albeit unrewarded.
A solo run from YM’s Ben Harrison culminated with a free kick just outside the area, before another attack saw Will Read skew wide.
YM, though, soon took the lead through Chesworth on 36 minutes. Loxwood created pressure with an immediate reply, but Webb-Olley pushed the ball over for a corner, which was headed onto the top netting, where a shot from Lewis Westlake also ended up.
Read burst through twice, firing just wide on the second occasion, and Ben Aubrey headed a corner slightly adrift, in between Loxwood suffered two near misses, leaving YM happier at the break.
The visitors restarted positively, enabling them to equalise from an easy goal almost before the second half had got under way, Sam Smith completing a slow motion tap in.
Subsequently, Chesworth was brought down, with YM awarded their third penalty in as many games.
Having missed with the first – against Broadbridge Heath – and scored from the second, v Alfold – Adrian Todd stepped up again to launch a cannon onto the underside of the crossbar, but, fortunately for YM the ball came out to Jay Popham to regain the lead with more than half-an-hour remaining.
Luke Brodie and Matt Penfold created chances for Loxwood, but YM got free to produce three corners in short order.
Yet, when Webb-Olley was forced to make a diving save, and then an easier one, followed by a header just over, YM’s lead was threatened, but in the dying minutes they rallied with three late attacks.
Loxwood responded with a last ditch corner, but it was YM’s day, Dean Carden enthusing: “Loxwood are always a good team, but we matched them and that’s given us a shot in the arm before the Broadbridge Heath return match on Tuesday.”
By contrast, Loxwood felt frustrated, Manager Spencer Slaughter saying: “That was very disappointing – we controlled the game for periods in each half and should have cleared our lines.
"We have to put that right when we host Alfold on Tuesday.”