Peter Buckland admitted he felt ‘extreme relief’ when Matt Daniel slotted in an 95th-minute equaliser to earn an injury-stricken Horsham YMCA a point against Lancing in the Premier Division on Saturday.
Lewis Taylor opened the scoring with a sublime chip but George Fenton levelled before the interval. James Rhodes squeezed in a rebound to give the visitors the lead but, with the game slipping away from YM’s grasp, Daniel rescued a point for the hosts in injury-time.
Speaking on Daniel’s late strike, Buckland said: “I’d be a liar if I said there was anything else but extreme relief when the ball hit the net. On a day where we were comfortably outplayed, we were grateful for a point.
“I am happy with a late equaliser but we had to surrender a lot of possession. It was the game plan from the very beginning, keeping deep in the pitch."
He added: “We’re having to adapt and cut our cloth to suit so I’m having to set out not to lose games which is a little alien to us.”
The home side were in front after 15 minutes when loanee Taylor controlled the ball in front of Matt Berridge and, spotting Matt Evans off his line, lobbed the Lancing ‘keeper audaciously from 35-yards out.
Rhodes curled an effort narrowly wide for the visitors in response before he set-up Fenton’s equaliser before half-time.
Poking through James Pearse’s legs and outmuscling the YMCA attacker, Rhodes swung a low delivery into Fenton who swept home, his strike clipping the post on its way in.
Aaron Jeal made a fine low save to prevent George Mitchell-Phillips, capping off a dangerous Lancing attack, before Brad Sands fired over at the end of a well-worked chance for the visitors.
He would soon assist Lancing’s second however, when his looping header crashed off the crossbar before Rhodes bundled in to finish off a 24-pass move.
Luke Gedling’s long-range half-volley had to be palmed away by Evans before the Lancers ‘keeper blocked his YM namesake, Dan Evans, moments later.
Daniel was unlucky as he lost his footing while receiving Taylor’s lay-off before Taylor himself was cut out as he charged forward.
With the game appearing to be out of reach, substitute Mitchell Clarke threaded a pass into Daniel who raced into the box before placing a terrific effort past Evans to snatch a point at the death.
YM visit SCFL leaders Eastbourne Town in the first round of the FA Vase this Saturday (12th October) seeking to avenge their 5-0 league defeat at The Saffrons from two weeks ago.
On how he will attempt to prevent a similar scoreline, Buckland said: “That’s down to personnel. Reasonable football manager I am, magician I am not so I really won’t know until training.”
Horsham YMCA: A Jeal, Carden, Evans, Gilbert, Harding, Gedling (Clarke 87), Daniel, Lovegrove (C Jeal 87), Nwachukwu, Taylor, Pearse (Hunt 74). Unused: Pavlovic, Lindsay.