Ten man YMCA fight back through late Johnson winner to beat AFC Uckfield

Horsham YMCA's Phil Johnson in action SUS-160428-163250002
Horsham YMCA's Phil Johnson in action SUS-160428-163250002

Horsham YMCA boss Pete Buckland felt his side thoroughly deserved their victory after fighting back with ten men to beat Uckfield Town 3-2.

The home side took the lead controversially on six minutes, when Shaun Loft appeared to be offside. However, the linesman kept his flag down allowing Loft to run on and dink the ball over the on rushing Mark Fox.

Things then looked to get worse for Buckland’s side, with the referee awarding a penalty in Uckfield’s favour. Again there was a degree of controversy with the decision as the ball struck the hand of Tom Gilbert who was stood one yard away from the ball as it struck him. Adding to their frustrations, referee Greig Walker dismissed defender Gilbert for the hand ball.

However, Uckfield couldn’t add to their lead, with Fox making a smart save from the penalty spot.

YMCA managed to find some momentum just before the end of the first half, with Sam Schaaf’s deflected shot flying in the top corner of Uckfield’s goal with it going down as an own goal.

Going in at half-time, Buckland rallied his team and re-shuffled in the search for all three points.

Minutes after the break, Dan Evans and Schaaf combined well with the ball being pulled back across the penalty box, allowing Nick Sullivan to tap in from ten yards.

There was still plenty of time for either team to get another goal and it was Uckfield who tied the scores.

With 81 minutes on the clock, attacker Matt Holland, picked the ball up on the edge of the box and fired the ball straight in to the top corner.

Buckland said: “I asked the ref how much added time was left and he said about eight minutes, so I threw another player forward.

“We had several opportunities, with their goalkeeper pulling off a couple of worldies.”

However in the 95th minute, Dean Carden fired the ball across to Phil Johnson who managed to rise highest amongst the defenders to head home and give YMCA a 3-2 victory.

Buckland added: “It was a justifiable three points, we played really well, really well.

“All things considered, without wearing rose tinted glasses, I think we just about deserved to win the game.” .

YMCA face Haywards Heath Town on Saturday in their last game of the season, with leaders Heath looking to win the Premier Division.

YMCA: Fox, Carden, Evans, Gilbert, Harding, Gathern, Pritchard-Cave, Gedling, Johnson, Schaaf, Sullivan. Subs: Buchanan, Shipton, Gibson.