Buckland believes Horsham YMCA have been rejuvenated by returning defender and reborn striker

Tom Gilbert (centre, red) and Dean Bown celebrate against Eastbourne United. Picture by Jon Rigby.
Tom Gilbert (centre, red) and Dean Bown celebrate against Eastbourne United. Picture by Jon Rigby.

Peter Buckland believes two members of his squad have rejuvenated Horsham YMCA ahead of their trip to Lancing in the Premier Division on Saturday.

YM picked up their fifth league win in a row after Saturday's 4-1 home victory over Arundel and the result saw them leapfrog Newhaven into second-place.

YMCA are now unbeaten in eight in the league and Buckland believes this upturn in form is down to the returning Tom Gilbert, and the new found confidence of Dean Bown.

The Gorings Mead-outfit have taken 12 points from 12 since defender Gilbert returned from a lengthy injury lay-off on February 23.

Forward Bown struggled to find goals over the Christmas period but has since netted six times in four league games to take his Premier Division tally to 20 for the season.

Buckland said: "Tom Gilbert has been back since the winning streak has started and it hasn't gone unnoticed to me.

"Tom is not only a good player but he's a real leader on the pitch. He's experienced and he talks all the time to the players.

"It's really reassuring to have him back in defence and certain players have hit a bit of form.

"It's all about confidence in football. Dean Bown in particular went through a real barren patch.

"I kept saying to him, it happens to players that are on thousands and thousands of pounds a week. You've just got to see it through.

"Once you've got one the goals will come again. He could have had two against Arundel comfortably.

"Clear through, one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he put it over the bar but his confidence is back."

SEE ALSO Buckland hails Horsham YMCA's youngsters as win over Arundel sees them up to second | Horsham YMCA make it three league wins a row in spite of 'farcical conditions' | Horsham YMCA hit their stride in Eastbourne win ready for crucial promotion period
YMCA's opponents sit 13th in the division and enjoyed a run to the second-qualifying round of the FA Cup this season.

Ahead of YM's trip to Lancing, Buckland said that his squad always looked forward to a visit to Culver Road and believed the synthetic surface at the Sussex FA's headquarters was conducive to good football.

He added: "I can only say it's a fixture that the players look forward to. It's lovely facilities first of all and the 3G is a nice experience for them.

"Historically we've done well on the 3G down there. I'd like to think we're a footballing side, we're not long-ball merchants.

"One thing with 3G, it does give you the opportunity to play football and that's what we will be doing.

"If you want to finish second you've got to go for it. There's no good in setting your stall out and trying to knick it.

"We're in good shape and we're in good confidence. We can't ask for anything more really."