A 93rd minute Brad Curtis free kick secured Horsham YMCA a place in the semi-finals of the Sussex RUR Cup, as they twice came from behind to beat Rye United 3-2 at Gorings Mead.
The late winner gives YM their second cup quarter-final success in as many weeks, and sets up a clash with Ringmer in the last four.
Manager, Peter Buckland, commented: “It wasn’t what you’d call a vintage display, but we’ve won and there’s not much more that I can say about the performance.”
The only points of note during a dreary opening half were the two goals that sent the sides into the break all square.
Evan Archibald side footed the Quarterboys in front against the run of play, before Dan Sullivan equalised for the hosts ten minutes before the break.
The visitors re-took the lead fourteen minutes into the second period when Archibald grabbed his second, before the game’s turning point then followed as YM ‘keeper Simon Lockwood denied the striker his hatrick with a fine save.
This sparked a YM revival, and seven minutes later the hosts were back on level terms when the ball struck a Rye hand in the box and Liam Hunter stepped up to coolly convert the resulting spot kick.
It looked certain that the tie was then heading to extra time, until Curtis whipped home a fantastic free kick three minutes into added time.
Buckland concluded: “Brad’s goal was superb. Normally Dan Sullivan is on those free kicks, but we decided at half time that the way Brad has been striking the ball, that if we get one close up we were to let him have it.
“Of course we are now into another cup semi final, but my main eyes are still on the league if I’m being honest. I’ve asked the guys if we can go the rest of the season without losing another league game, because there’s no reason why not.”
Report – Tom Norris
Photo – Clive Turner