Buckland hails ‘on-fire’ Phil for YM’s second-half flourish

Horsham YMCA v Eastbourne Town FC. 01-04-17. Pic Steve Robards SR1706298 SUS-170304-113253001
Horsham YMCA v Eastbourne Town FC. 01-04-17. Pic Steve Robards SR1706298 SUS-170304-113253001

Horsham YMCA manager Pete Buckland praised Phil Johnson for masterminding their Premier Division victory over East Preston.

He hit top form on Tuesday night by assisting his side’s first goal and scoring the other two in their 3-1 win.

It was a welcome return to form for YM after losing their opening league game 4-0 to Pagham on Saturday.

Buckland said: “We pretty much controlled the game from start to finish. At one point it looked like it was going to be one of those nights as we missed at least three proper chances.”

Buckland moved Johnson into a forward role from right wing position against EP and within five minutes he had scored their second goal. Ten minutes later, he scored again to seal the points.

The manager continued: “Phil Johnson was on-fire. Moving him forward made the difference and he scored two great goals to win us the game.

“Playing our normal formation of 4-2-3-1 rather than the 4-3-3 against Pagham on Saturday certainly helped too.”

Johnson set up YM’s opener, turning keeper Chris Cook and passing to Brown to score from four yards.

East Preston soon equalised when Jared Rance cut in, ran 20 yards and scored a great individual goal.

In an improved second half display, Johnson, Kieron Pamment and Sam Schaaf all missed good chances.

Johnson then intercepted the ball and steered between the defence, before rounding the keeper to score and extend YM’s lead in the 80th minute.

Johnson intercepted again before netting in the 90th-minute on the rebound to make it 3-1 after his initial shot hit the crossbar.

Horsham YMCA: Jeal, Carden, Evans, Gilbert (captain), Cooke, Humphreys (Gedling 75), Shelley, Johnson, Schaaf (Cave 80), Pamment, Brown (Dugdale 91). Unused: Harding, Curtis.