A solitary goal halted Horsham YMCA’s 11-game unbeaten run away at Crowborough Athletic on Saturday, as they lost 1-0 in a return to league action.
Jason Barton’s seventh minute header proved enough for the Crows, who, in keeping out a dominant YM to take all three points, leapfrogged their opponents and pushed Peter Buckland’s side down to fifth in the Division 1 table.
The YM boss said: “All good things come to an end. Sometimes an unbeaten run is a bit of a monkey on your back, because everyone knows about it and wants to beat you.
“It isn’t the end of the world, but even if we had snatched a late equaliser, it’s only a point.
“We’ve got to be going to places like Crowborough and coming away with all three points if we’ve got any aspirations of getting promoted.”
YM were without Nick Sullivan, Matt Crane, Brad Curtis and Craig Grantham, which meant handing a first start since late August to striker Martin Smith, and drafting in Adam O’Carroll at centre back after only recently returning from injury.
Buckland added: “It was a very one-sided game of football. They scored from a free kick in the seventh minute and then never had another shot on goal.
“We absolutely battered them possession wise, but there was no real guile in the last third.
“The longer the game went on, the more frustrated we got and started shooting from silly angles instead of keeping our composure.
“We hit the woodwork a couple of times in the second half and their ‘keeper pulled off a couple of worldy saves.
“It could so easily have been 2-1 or 3-1 to us, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We were much the better side. I can take a defeat all day long, but when you boss a game so much, it’s so frustrating to have lost.”
YM don’t have to wait long to make amends for only their second defeat in the league this season, as they face AFC Uckfield away in the second round of the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday evening.
Buckland concluded: “The good thing about football is that we’ve only got to wait until Tuesday to put things right now. I think we’ll have Brad Curtis, Nick Sullivan and Matt Crane back, so I’m going to have a nice selection headache.
“We need to win down there on Tuesday and progress in the Sussex Senior Cup, which I’ve got to say I’m confident that we will. Then we can hope for a nice tie in the next round.”
YM (4-2-3-1): S. Smith, Wood, Burgess, O’Carroll, Evans, Dugdale (c), Hunter, Brown, D. Sullivan, Hutchings (Greig 65), M. Smith (Day 80)
Unused Subs: Gannon, R. Curtis.