Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland branded Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat against Kensington Borough in the FA Vase first round as the worst display from a side throughout his time at the club.
Two goals from Borough’s Ashley Flanore sent the Combined Counties Division 1 side through to the next round of the competition, dumping YM out against a side two division below them.
Buckland said: “Needless to say it was disappointing, and that is an understatement. I can honestly say it was probably the worst performance from a side I’ve put out since I’ve been at the club.
“I always analyse everything. I’ve got my little black book and win, lose, or draw I write down my bullet points and follow it on constructively but after the game I just wrote ‘speechless’.
“I could see two or three players that weren’t at it. You don’t get it very often, maybe once a season, where the whole team is not on it and Saturday was one of those occasions.
“I’m not criticising their commitment or effort but we just couldn’t get our act together.”
YM carved out chances in the opening 15 minutes but good saves from Sean McDermott in the Kensington goal and stout defending kept the game scoreless.
Dean Bown was brought down in the box but YM’s penalty appeal were turned down. And after the appeals, the visitors took the lead with a lovely goal.
On 19 minutes, Flanore’s shot from the edge of the box beat home ‘keeper Aaron Jeal to give Borough the lead.
YM were creating chances but good work from the backline prevented the hosts from finding the equaliser as the half-time whistle blew.
Despite trailing, the home side were still creating chances and Adam Hunt and Luke Gedling were brought on to inject some life into YM.
However, Borough bagged a second through Flanore as he spun and shot to double the lead on 67 minutes.
Callum Donaghey was dismissed with two minutes left to play to compound a miserable afternoon for Buckland’s side as they crashed out.
The angry YM boss added: “We didn’t play a game in two weeks prior to Saturday and I do feel that we’re a side that needs to keep going.
“I just got a feeling they were a bit rusty. On reflection I should have arranged a reasonably sedate friendly prior to the Saturday but you live and learn.
“I’d like to congratulate Kensington because it just proves that if you apply yourselves and rise to the occasion it shows what you can achieve in football.
“What you lack in other areas you can make up for in sheer tenacity and they did. I wish them all the best in the next round.”
Horsham YMCA travel to Arundel in the third round of the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup tonight (7:45pm ko) before hosting Eastbourne Town in the league on Saturday.
YM: Jeal, Carden (Brown 68’), Evans, Harding, Donaghey, Gedling (Garrod 66’), Bown, Dugdale, Nwachukwu (Hunt 66’), Cave, Barbary.