Saturday November 28 – SCFL Premier Division
Horsham YMCA 5 – 3 AFC Uckfield Town
Tom Norris – Football Reporter
Horsham YMCA moved up to third spot in what is now a tightly packed Premier Division top six, following a 5-3 win over AFC Uckfield Town on an emotional day at Gorings Mead on Saturday.
Players from both sides wore black armbands and observed a minute’s silence in commemoration of YM Chairman, Mick Browning, who sadly passed away last week following a lengthy battle with leukaemia.
Alex Gathern’s fourth-minute header handed the hosts the perfect start, but the visitors levelled when Scott Taylor struck low into the net midway through the first half. Buckland introduced Martin Smith at the interval and the dual-signed Dorking man proved the difference between the sides as he played a hand in three YM goals in ten second half minutes. Smith’s cross from the right first teed up defender Dan Pollard, who sweetly struck into the corner from the edge of the area, before the forward raced through and coolly slotted home three minutes later. Dangerous Uckfield midfielder Taylor halved the deficit shortly after, but the influential Smith helped reinstate the home side’s two goal advantage less than ninety seconds later when another cross from the right found Dave Brown who rifled into the corner. Buckland’s side added a fifth five minutes from time when Anthony Hibbert headed in a Dan Sullivan cross, before the YM midfielder found himself on the Uckfield score sheet two minutes later when a corner bounced off his shin and into his own net from four yards.
YM manager Peter Buckland commented: “I really wanted to win for obvious reasons. Football doesn’t actually pale into insignificance today, because Mick was all about football. I was even more animated than usual because of the tension and all of the emotions building up, so I was relieved when the final whistle went and we got the three points.”
YM: Fox, D. Sullivan, Gathern, Pollard, Horner (Smith 46), Hibbert, Gedling, Evans, Gannon (Lockwood 82), Brown, Wright (Hyett 75). Unused subs: Carden, Burgess.