Horsham YMCA rise up the table with second win

It is no secret that Horsham YMCA had a tough introduction to this season with four straight defeats, including a heavy FA Cup loss in Jersey.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 9:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 9:35 am
Goalkeeper Aaron Jeal impressed on his Horsham YMCA return. Picture by Steve Robards

But, manager Dean Carden told the County Times that he’s absolutely delighted by the way that his team has responded with back to back wins, firstly 3-0 at Loxwood, then 2-1 against higher-placed Pagham at home on Saturday.

Carden said: “It wasn’t the easiest of starts! So, we’ve made some tough decisions to fill some gaps and strengthen the squad.

"It was such a relief to get the clean sheet win in the Loxwood local derby, then (on Saturday) our format was more settled, giving balance to the side.

"I hope these two wins are a stepping stone and give us a confidence boost to put a home run together in our next two games, both at Gorings Mead.”

The Pagham game got off to a pacey start, Dan Evans, back at YM, breaking through to shoot wide after the visitors had an early corner.

Free kicks at either end followed, with keeper Aaron Jeal – another YM returner - punching clear. After an unfulfilled YM corner, Pagham got the ball in the net, but offside had already been called.

A nasty looking knee injury then sidelined YM’s Olly Wilson, before in the run up to half-time, a free kick from the right enabled Mark Cave to put YM ahead.

Resuming, Pagham began with two corners, and although Jonathan Kusaka’s solo run pressurised Joe Clarke in the Pagham goal, the visitors were calling the shots.

But, YM kept battling and Cave got into the box, only to tap wide before firing over. Carden came on himself when Kusaka was forced off to have his leg strapped up.

Then, half-an-hour into the second half, Ross Edwards equalised with an excellent curling free kick into the top right, beyond the flying Jeal’s reach.

YM sub, Will Read, burrowed through, and a header went wide, but YM’s determination got its just rewards in the 85th minute, when Tom Cousins used both feet to slot home the winning goal.

Pagham kept pushing, but their last attempt went wide, securing all three points for YM, moving them up to 12th.

After tonight’s game v East Preston, YM welcome all conquering leaders Saltdean on Saturday.