Horsham YMCA closed the gap on fourth place in Division 1 on Tuesday evening, as a spectacular 89th minute solo effort from Dave Brown secured a 2-1 win over ten-man Crowborough Athletic at Gorings Mead.
The hosts dominated from start to finish, and took a deserved lead as Liam Hunter headed home three minutes after the break.
The Crows were reduced to ten men when Wayne Clark was shown a straight red for a reckless challenge midway through the second half, but then equalised shortly after through Jason Barton.
A plethora of wasted chances looked to have cost the hosts all three points, until Brown produced a moment of magic a minute from time, skipping past three Crowborough players, before bursting into the box and firing low into the corner.
The win puts YM just three points behind the Crows, who have played two games more, meaning Peter Buckland’s side will have the opportunity to leapfrog them into fourth spot should they take advantage of their games in hand.
The YM manager said: “I thought that we were comfortable and the far better side against a team that are above us in the league.
“It was a game that we needed to win because we’ve got two games in hand over Crowborough, so by beating them it closes the gap.
“It was such a frustrating game because we were so dominant, but we’ve just got to put these games to bed. We just seem to be making hard work of scoring. We could do with taking the pressure off ourselves earlier.
“My heart was in my mouth right up until the end, I won’t deny it, but I’ve got to say that it was a good all-round performance. The score could easily have read 6-1.
It was an important win, but as importantly as the win, was how well we played, especially going into a semi-final on Thursday.”
YM now travel to Shoreham’s Middle Road for their Sussex RUR Charity Cup semi-final against Ringmer on Thursday evening.
YM (4-2-3-1): Lockwood, Carden, Hunter, Burgess, O’Carroll (Gedling 64), Evans, Dugdale (c), B. Curtis (Hyett 80), D. Brown, N. Sullivan, D. Sullivan. Unused Subs: S. Smith, Grantham, Gannon