Buckland praises Horsham YMCA after Lancing win and draw with Three Bridges

Horsham YMCA's Luke Donaldson (left) in action away at Lancing. Photo by Clive Turner SUS-160428-163131002
Horsham YMCA's Luke Donaldson (left) in action away at Lancing. Photo by Clive Turner SUS-160428-163131002

Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland praised his side after they continued their fine run of form with four points in a week.

YM have lost just once in their last 13 league games with their latest victory coming against Lancing, which leaves them just a point behind second with a game in hand.

The Lancers travelled to Gorings Mead having won three of their last four games but faced a daunting task.

Having come from behind three times to draw 3-3 at Three Bridges, with goals coming from Tom Gilbert (two) and Phil Johnson, YM were looking to get back to winning ways.

Against Lancing, despite playing just once in the last three weeks, YM started strongly with a wave of chances and eventually took the lead through Johnson after half an hour.

The prolific striker doubled the hosts’ lead with his second before half-time with a simple tap in from Luke Donaldson’s square ball.

Donaldson, returning after being left out at Three Bridges, got one of his own from a tight angle against his former side.

Lancing did pull one back with 20 minutes to go through Lewis Finney but it was no more than consolation.

Buckland said: “It was a good game Saturday. It was exactly what I expected from Lancing, they are a good side.

“They had a little hiccup a few weeks back but they’ve got back on track and were going into Saturday’s game in high spirits.

“It took us half an hour to break them down, but we started lively and probably should have scored a couple before we got the first one.

“We were guilty of missing good opportunities but we went into half-time two goals up. The result was never in doubt. It was a good game to get out the way and get another three points on the board.”

Buckland believes the performances were similar in both their games last week, pointing to continuity as the key to their successes this season. He added: “We’ve got into a pattern now where we pretty much stick to the same formation every game with the same personnel.

“They are on such a successful run that I just can’t make a lot of changes.

“That’s hard on some of the players who didn’t start when the run begun so you try to give them as much football as they can but I’ve got to try to keep the same starting 11 wherever possible.

“That’s not a reflection on the lads not starting, it’s that continuity is the name of the game.

“I did rest Luke Donaldson at Three Bridges. He’s a gifted wide player but I just thought he wouldn’t suit a local derby in a bit of a quagmire.

“It turned out to be a good decision whilst keeping him chomping at the bit to start against his old club Lancing and he played really well, scoring a goal.”

Buckland was particularly pleased with how his players performed despite the inevitable rustiness after a lack of festive period games and training.

He added: “Prior to the game at Three Bridges, we hadn’t kicked a ball.

“We couldn’t even train because our facilities were shut over the holidays and the pitch was too wet to play on.

“The last thing you want in that situation is a tough local derby away from home, but they showed really good character coming from behind three times.

“We also scored three from set pieces which was really pleasing as we’ve been training hard on them.

“We’ve tried working on being constructive when we get these opportunities rather than crossing them in and hoping, which paid off.”

YMCA: Jeal, Carden, Harding, Gilbert, Donaghey (Hooper-Ridsdale 88), Gedling, Donaldson, Dugdale (capt, C.Jeal 82), Schaaf, Johnson (Cave 80), Brown.