Buckland hails young guns as Horsham YMCA scoop Team of the Month award for March

Horsham YMCA celebrate. Picture by Steve Robards.
Horsham YMCA celebrate. Picture by Steve Robards.

Peter Buckland praised the impact of his young charges after second-placed Horsham YMCA picked up the SCFL Premier Division Team of the Month award for March.

The Gorings Mead-outfit went unbeaten throughout the month, recording five wins and a draw in six games.

This was in stark contrast to YM's performances over the Christmas period and into the New Year.

YMCA fell to third after managing just one victory in six between December 8 and January 19, as the squad struggled with a lengthy injury-list.

Under-23 players like Jack Ryder, Leon Eales, and Ashley Wadhams were promoted to the first team and subsequently played a massive part in YM's resurgence.

Buckland's side are now on an 11 game unbeaten run as a finish in the division's top-two beckons.

He said: "The players we had to promote from the under-23s have settled. They've all done really well.

"I stressed to them, don't worry about all these Billy Big Chops around you, go out there and do what you normally do.

"Be confident, believe in yourself, and that has all come to the surface now.

"We are 11 games unbeaten now, going back to Peacehaven away in January. It's April now so that's not bad is it?"

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Horsham YMCA host 12th-placed Hassocks on Saturday.

The mid-table Robins inflicted defeat on YM at The Beacon on January 12.

Hassocks lead 5-0 after an hour before late goals form Guy Harding (two) and Jack Hartley reduced the deficit.

After this result, Buckland was doubly wary of the trouble Saturday's opposition could cause and hoped that a prolific ex-YM forward wouldn't come back to haunt him.

He added: "We were 5-0 down and lost 5-3. We could've had a 5-5 out of them, it was bizarre.

"Hassocks, since I've been around in the Sussex scene, always finish about mid-table.

"But when you look at their season they'll lose three back-to-back at home to the bottom three and then go away to the top teams and beat them.

"I'm expecting a tough game. I don't think it'll be any different to the Newhaven game (last weekend).

"Jonno (Phil Johnson) is down there now and we were sad to part with him.

"I like Phil, as a lad and as a footballer, but he's a Hassocks lad. He's at his home now as it were.

"As happens with ex-players they often come back to haunt you. I feared that when Sam Schaaf played for Eastbourne United."