Unbeaten runs on the line as Loxwood and Horsham YMCA meet in 'must-win' derby battle

Action from August's clash between Horsham YMCA and Loxwood. YM ran out 3-0 winner. All pictures by Steve Robards.
Action from August's clash between Horsham YMCA and Loxwood. YM ran out 3-0 winner. All pictures by Steve Robards.

Local rivals Loxwood and Horsham YMCA will face off tonight (Tuesday) in the Premier Division with both hoping to strengthen their season's prospects and continue their good recent form.

Fourth-placed YMCA are currently on a six-game unbeaten run in the league and have recently notched up three consecutive wins to see them just four-points behind Newhaven in second.

Loxwood boss Alex Walsh.

Loxwood boss Alex Walsh.

The Magpies meanwhile have also picked up three back-to-back league victories, seeing them move up to 15th and six-points clear of the relegation zone.

This is in stark contrast to when the sides were originally meant to meet on February 2, the game falling foul to the poor weather that plagued Sussex at the start of the month, as both teams were struggling for points and consistency.

With the Plaistow Road-outfit and YM both hitting a purple-patch the respective managers, Loxwood's Alex Walsh and Horsham YMCA's Peter Buckland, are backing their sides to pick up valuable points in their battles at the top and bottom of the Premier Division

SEE ALSO Horsham YMCA make it three league wins a row in spite of 'farcical conditions' | Late show yet again seals victory for Loxwood but Walsh stresses 'we're not safe yet' | Barbary double helps Horsham YMCA take local bragging rights over Loxwood​
Walsh said: "YMCA have come out and said that their next two games are going to define their season so they are going to be well up for playing us at our place but we're well up for it as well.

Horsham YMCA manager Peter Buckland.

Horsham YMCA manager Peter Buckland.

"Both teams are in good form. They're going well at one end of the table and we're going well at the other so we're both going to be fighting for different reasons.

"They are going to be coming here looking to win, but we will be doing exactly the same so may the best team win.

"Tuesday night at Loxwood is a special occasion so we're relishing the opportunity."

Buckland added: "Loxwood is not a happy hunting ground for me. I've not done terribly well down there at all so we've certainly got to be on it.

"It's a must-win if we want to stay in contention because on the same night Newhaven are away to Uckfield which is a tricky one for Haven. If we win we leapfrog Eastbourne Town and go third.

"The next two games are very decisive. I know every game is but if we can beat Loxwood and Arundel (on Saturday) there is lots of twists and turns yet I feel, but you can only take one game at a time."

Loxwood will be sweating on the fitness of a couple of players after they suffered knocks in their 3-1 away win at Arundel on Saturday, while Horsham YMCA will definitely be without Ollie Gill and long-term absentee Ash Dugdale.

Kick-off tonight at Plaistow Road is at 7:45pm.