Horsham YMCA hold crisis meeting as ‘wheels fall off’ but Buckland won’t throw in the towel

Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland has hailed the togetherness and spirit of his squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Hassocks in the Premier Division. Picture by Steve Robards.
Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland has hailed the togetherness and spirit of his squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Hassocks in the Premier Division. Picture by Steve Robards.

Horsham YMCA held a crisis meeting this week with manager Peter Buckland refusing to throw in the towel in the Premier Division title race.

A shock 1-0 home defeat on Saturday to a Shoreham side that were on a nine-game winless run saw YM drop to third in the standings.

Football, FA Cup, first qualifying round.''Horsham YMCA v Tooting & Micham.''Pictured is Horsham's Manager, Pete Buckland.    ''Horsham, Mid Sussex. ''Picture: Liz Pearce 08/09/2018''LP181382 SUS-180809-220125008

Football, FA Cup, first qualifying round.''Horsham YMCA v Tooting & Micham.''Pictured is Horsham's Manager, Pete Buckland. ''Horsham, Mid Sussex. ''Picture: Liz Pearce 08/09/2018''LP181382 SUS-180809-220125008

It meant back-to-back defeats for YM and left them seven points adrift of leaders Chichester City in the promotion and title battle.

Buckland got all the players and staff together for a meeting this week to address how they go forwards after two poor displays.

The YM boss said: “We have left ourselves a mountain to climb, but until it is mathematically impossible, I for one won’t be throwing in the towel. I will be doing everything possible to arrest the situation.

“We were having a meeting at the club on Monday with the whole squad with an open forum to analyse everything, from myself down, as it’s clear that the wheels have come off.

“I guess maybe it’s a confidence thing – if we had scored early doors on Saturday, I think it probably would have been a different outcome.”

A further blow to Buckland is that defender Alex Malins, who is on loan from Lewes, has been ruled out for the season with injury after initial hopes he might just be out for a few weeks.

On the plus side, captain Ash Dugdale, who was on the bench on Saturday, looks set to be able to play this weekend at Hassocks along with Luke Donaldson, who has also been sidelined.

YM have also put in a seven-day approach for a new forward to bolster the ranks, who they will be able to speak to on Thursday.

Buckland added: “The message is, while there is a mountain to climb, we will address the situation this week and we are not giving up just yet.”