‘Title race will go all the way down to the wire’

Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland
Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland

Horsham YMCA manager Peter Buckland believes this year’s Premier Division title race will go all the way down to the wire.

The Gorings Mead outfit sit just a point off second-placed Pagham with a game in hand, having lost just once in their last 13 league games.

They trail leaders Haywards Heath by eight points, but have a game in hand, while below them Eastbourne Town are a point behind having played a game less.

YM lost 2-0 to Chichester City in the RUR Cup on Tuesday and are now without a game this weekend - their next fixture coming against Littlehampton on January 20.

Buckland said: “We’re in good shape at the moment. It’s really tight this year and I think it’s going to the wire.

“All you can do is take each game at a time and look after your own interests.

“I tell the lads to try not to look at the table and not to look too far ahead. We just need to take each game when it comes and the table never lies at the end of the season.

“We bizarrely don’t have a game on the 13th which, on an injury point of view, is quite helpful but I probably would have preferred to keep going.

“For various reasons we can’t fit a fixture in so we will have to train instead of the game.”

The YM boss also praised Callum Jeal, who is the club’s leading scorer with 14 goals in the under-21 side and has been involved with the first team on numerous occasions.

He added: “Callum is a fantastic young prospect at just 17 and has got a great future ahead of him. He’s a central midfielder but does like to get forward.

“I honestly believe in phasing the youngsters in and not just chucking them in. He’s certainly one for the future and we will be phasing him in more and more in the coming weeks.”