Peter Buckland hailed the impact of young-gun Jack Ryder as his double fired Horsham YMCA to a 4-2 away win over nine-man Lancing in the Premier Division on Saturday.
On a blustery day, Ryder opened the scoring for the Gorings Mead-outfit before Matt Daniel drew the Lancers level.
Three goals in the last 15 minutes of the first-half from Ryder, Tony Nwachukwu and Dean Bown gave YM a 4-1 lead at the break.
Lancing were then reduced to nine-men before Daniel pulled a goal back for the hosts.
But second-placed YMCA held on to keep the pressure on table-toppers Chichester City and record their sixth consecutive league victory.
Buckland said: “Every time we go down to the coast we seem to be playing in a gale and it was absolutely hideous again.
“We were with the gale in the first-half and then defending it in the second-half.
“Fortunately you’ve got the option of keeping it down and playing on the ground there and we did that superbly.
“At 4-1 up the result was never in doubt although Dean Carden made an uncharacteristic clanger.
“I was particularly pleased with the football we played in such conditions.
“We got our noses in front and we got the game, without sounding blasé, pretty much won at half-time.
“If anything we played better second-half. We should have at least had another two goals.
“All things considered it was a very good performance and the youngsters yet again did really well.”
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YM opened the scoring on 14 minutes after a lovely passing move culminated in Ryder finishing well.
Skipper Carden then made a rare slip to allow Daniel to equalise on 27 minutes.
Four minutes later and YMCA went back in the lead after Ryder headed home from an Alex Barbary free-kick.
An exquisite run and finish from Nwachukwu increased the advantage on 37 minutes before Bown made it four on half-time.
The hosts were then reduced to nine-men. A melee in the middle of the park saw Alex Bygraves given a straight red and soon after Dean Hunter-Stewart went for a second yellow.
Daniel reduced the arrears with eleven minutes to go but YM held on to extend their unbeaten league run to nine games.
Buckland added: “Jack is learning game-by-game. We’re talking to him all the time and the senior players are helping him out.
“He plays too much of the game with his back to goal for my liking instead of looking for options in behind them.
“He’s taken that on board and lo-and-behold he gets behind the defence for the first goal and finishes well.
“The second one was just a really good header from a beautiful delivery from Alex Barbary.”
YM host second-from-bottom Eastbourne United on Saturday.
Horsham YMCA: Jeal, Carden, Harding, Gilbert, Mobsby (Ross 65), Gedling, Nwachukwu (Frankland 82), Barbary, Bown (Wadhams 77), Ryder, Hartley. Unused: Pavlovic, Eales.