‘While it’s possible, we’ll still fight to be in the top three’

Horsham YMCA. Sam Schaaf. Pic Steve Robards  SR1631561 SUS-161027-132802001
Horsham YMCA. Sam Schaaf. Pic Steve Robards SR1631561 SUS-161027-132802001

Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland remains hopeful of a top-three finish in the Premier Division, which could be enough for promotion, after they dropped more points on Saturday.

Fourth-placed YM have hit a wall in recent weeks, and are without a win in five league games after a 1-1 draw at AFC Uckfield

YM are five points short off Pagham with a game in hand, but Buckland remains hopeful of rewarding a largely successful season with promotion.

He said: “Going into the game on Saturday, I thought we had to get three points to have a chance, but mathematically it’s still possible. We’re still going to go for it.

“It’s not just about our latest dip in form, it goes way back to the start of the season. The first seven games were nothing short of a disaster and we were fourth from bottom.

“We haven’t given up totally but I don’t think third will be good enough (for promotion).

“We just don’t know with the reshuffle so we’ll remain focused and take each game as it comes.”

Buckland was left lamenting further bad luck on Saturday as an early Sam Schaaf opener was cancelled out by a 62nd-minute equaliser by Dee Okojie in ‘bizarre’ circumstances, whilst YM also lost four first team players to injury.

On 14 minutes, Schaff capitalised on an air kick from goalkeeper Louis Rogers with the striker finishing into an empty net.

Schaaf and brown both had chances to extend the lead and Guy Harding’s header hit a post.

Uckfield’s leveller came just past the hour as the ball had gone out of play in the build-up to the goal were Okojie lobbed Aaron Jeal.

Buckland said: “We only seem to be getting bad luck at the moment. Squad wise, we lost Charlie Cooke, Luke Donaldson, Callum Donaghey before kick off and Tom Gilbert during the game with ongoing injuries.

“At 1-0 up we were in cruise control even though it’s no easy place to go.

“I was quite content but we had a bizarre situation. The ball was kicked out by one of our players, it bounced out of their dug out, back onto the pitch, everybody stopped to take the throw in, but the centre forward wasn’t aware of what had happened and carried on.

“Much to our dismay, the referee gave the goal and even their manager could only apologise It typifies what has happened to us over the last few weeks.

Horsham YMCA: A.Jeal, Carden, Harding, Gilbert (Frankland 70), C.Jeal (Curtis 70), Evans, Moore, Dugdale, Schaaf (Cave 65), Johnson, Brown.