Three Ryman League players could be arriving at Horsham YMCA this week, after manager Peter Buckland trimmed his squad to 14 ahead of yesterday’s John O’Hara Cup defeat of Loxwood.
Buckland has off loaded Harry Lowe, Dan Smith, Joe Aquilina, Tim Martin, Fabio Posagno, Martin Mutungi, Jaufrey Mahadoo and Sam Sawyers, and YM plan to hold talks with three new players who Buckland hopes to persuade to drop down to the Sussex County League.
“I have had a bit of a cull,” the Gorings Mead boss said. “I am comfortable with the players I have kept.”
Loxwood proved tough opposition for a YM side severely affected by traffic problems on the M25, as the County League Division 1 side edged their Division 2 hosts 3-2.
Buckland’s men went ahead when Ashley Dugdale was afforded time and space to pick his spot, just beating Sam Smith’s dive in the Loxwood goal. Martin Smith then doubled YM’s lead when he cut-in off the wing and curled a shot past Smith. It was scant reward for a Loxwood side who started brightly but still found themselves trailing.
Paul White hauled the Magpies back into the game with a stunning curled finish from range which found the top corner. That gave Julian Miller’s men encouragement, but their hopes were dashed when Dan Sullivan rode a series of challenges to net YM’s third with 17 minutes to play.
There was still time for White and Damon Aston to release Ben Bissett for Loxwood’s second goal, but there was no way through for a leveller.
Loxwood manager Julian Miller, who saw his side win their first league game in eight attempts on Saturday, said: “I cannot really complain. Things are starting to go in the right direction for us.”
Meanwhile, Buckland was impressed with what he saw at Plaistow Road, said: “It was as comfortable as a 3-2 win can be. “I told my boys that the way Loxwood played, it was as so good as anything they will come up against in the bottom half of Division 1.”