Elliott Romain scored two goals on his Horsham YMCA return as they overcame Lancing 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The game only swung YM’s way in the 85th minute with two goals 30 seconds apart after some wasteful finishing from the hosts.
The heavily depleted Lancers pushed their hosts all the way and Wayne Joseph’s second half equaliser looked set to give them a battling point before the late double.
YM boss Peter Buckland said: “I think just about the best team won, but it was a scrappy old game and a typical end of season affair.”
With parent club Three Bridges finishing their season striker Romain has returned to YM for their final games, and it took him until the 37th minute to make his mark, firing home from a tight angle.
Prior to the goal YM had wasted a number of good chances, Romain forcing a good save from Lancers keeper Dan Neale and then scooping the resulting corner over.
Fellow striker Martin Smith also spurned some good openings and Romain also had a goal disallowed before the break.
The pattern of YM profligacy continued into the second half, Romain shooting wide with only the goalkeeper to beat after a neat one-two with Ash Dugdale.
And against the run of play Lancing equalised when striker Wayne Joseph was the only one to react to a hopeful ball over the YM defence and shot past Simon Lockwood.
Dan Turner so nearly put the visitors ahead with a shot blocked on the line, and when Leroy Hyett blasted a great chance straight at the keeper it looked like YM would be made to rue those missed opportunities.
But with five minutes remaining Dan Sullivan’s free kick picked out Matt Crane, who headed back across goal for Romain to nod in his second, and in less than a minute YM had another, Leo Day finding the top corner of his own net.
YM were also denied a penalty when Dean Cox appeared to have been fouled by Dan Turner.
Buckland said: “At half time I seriously thought it could have been 3-0, but there was just no composure.
“We didn’t seem to have any quality on the ball at all. We weren’t at our best at all tonight, and I’d say it was one of our worst performances of the season to be honest.”
YM (4-4-2): Lockwood, Sullivan, Crane, Burgess, O’Carroll, Evans (Hawthorne 88), B. Curtis, Dugdale, Smith (R. Curtis 78), Hyett (Cox 71), Romain.