Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland feels his squad are ‘only playing at 80 per cent’ despite continuing their impressive start to the season with a 3-0 away win against Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday.
YM went up to second in the Southern Combination Premier, just one point shy of early pace setters Chichester City, thanks to goals from Alex Barbary, Ollie Moore, and the returning Dave Brown.
Buckland feels that injuries have disrupted YM’s start and that once his players return to full fitness they will hit their stride.
He said: “I think, and I hope this doesn’t come across as big headed, that we’re only playing at 80 per cent, I seriously think we have more to give.
“Sometimes you can’t control that because of injuries. When all of the squads available it’ll be a nice headache to have.”
YM took the lead on 12 minutes as Barbary headed home from a Moore cross, and the visitors took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Moore then doubled the lead on 33 minutes as he hooked the ball over the ‘keepers head after a goalmouth scramble.
Half-time came and YM led 2-0 but Crawley Down came back into the game and for twenty minutes put pressure on the visiting goal.
As YM seemed happy to see the game out, Buckland made changes and this galvanised them as they dominated the final quarter.
With just two minutes remaining Brown, in his first appearance since injury, found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper and slotted home to wrap up a 3-0 victory.
Buckland felt his side should have won by a more convincing margin but was delighted with the impact of the returning Brown.
He added: “We didn’t have to raise our game much to win on Saturday. We were pretty much in control for the whole game, I’m sure James (Day, Crawley Down boss) would agree with me on that.
“For the last 20 minutes we should have scored another couple but the most pleasing thing was that Dave Brown was back on the pitch for us.
“What more could you wish for? It’s the first time he’s been on the pitch this season and within ten minutes of being on he scores a typical Browny goal.”
Buckland also backed YM to continue their good start and achieve promotion this season.
He said: “I think we’ve got the strength in depth to maintain this good start. Promotion is our ultimate target and we do tend to get better as the season goes on.
“It’s a very realistic target but football has a nasty habit of biting you on the backside.”
Horsham YMCA travel to Broadbridge Heath in the first round of the Sussex RUR Cup on Tuesday (7:45 pm k.o.) before hosting fourth-placed Peacehaven & Telscombe in the league on Saturday.
YM: Jeal, Carden, Evans, Gill (Harding 57’), Donaghey, Moore, Bown (Nwachukwu 65’), Dugdale (Brown 82’), Garrod, Mobsby, Barbary.