Peter Buckland praised a ‘good, disciplined performance’ from Horsham YMCA as they picked up their first home win in almost three months in a 1-0 victory over Pagham in the Premier Division on Saturday.
This was also YM’s first league win in just under a month, reviving their slim hopes of promotion.
The Gorings Mead-oufit stay fourth but trail first-placed Chichester City by 13 points.
Buckland said: “Pagham, as usual, were very strong in possession and in the first-half I think it’s fair to say we edged it.
“They changed formation, pushed three up top second-half so we adjusted accordingly and it was a good, disciplined performance.
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“From a tactical point of view it was very good from both clubs. It was a good game played in good spirits.
“When you consider some of the teams that we’ve lost to at home it was a good result and a good turning point.”
The first-half was an even affair with YMCA spurning early chances. The hosts eventually took the lead on 22 minutes through Hartley after good work down the right but both sides cancelled each other out as the first 45 came to an end.
As the second period began, the Lions saw a header go wide before Alex Barbary failed to connect with an Adam Hunt cross.
Pagham fired another header wide and Dean Bown and sub Tony Nwachukwu both had attempts blocked by the Lions defence.
Both teams wasted free-kicks before the end but YM claimed a gritty three points.
Buckland added: “We have, without crying wolf, had quite a few games where we did deserve something out of the game and got nothing.
“I thought it was going to go on forever. The referee played about eight-and-a-half minutes stoppage time.
“Eight-and-a-half minutes and it’s 1-0 so anything can happen. A corner, a free-kick or something off someone’s backside. It was quite tense.”
YM face AFC Uckfield Town in the semi-finals of the Peter Bentley Cup at Shoreham's Middle Road tomorrow (Wednesday) evening, before they travel to third-placed Eastbourne Town in the league on Saturday.
Horsham YMCA: Jeal, Carden, Evans, Gill (Nwachukwu 70), Harding, Mobsby, Hunt (Frankland 86), Barbary (Ryder 90), Bown, Gedling, Hartley. Unused: Gilbert, Batchelor.