Pagham 2-0 Horsham YMCA
By Martin Read – Sports Reporter
Photos by Tim Hewlett
On a surprisingly welcome sunny interlude in the monsoon at the coast last Saturday, Horsham YMCA gave a good account of themselves again, with nothing to choose between the two sides in the even first half. But, in the latter stages of the game Pagham were in the ascendant, with YM’s inability to find the net resulting in their sixth consecutive league defeat
Nyetimber Lane has not often been a happy hunting ground for YM, and in the scrappy opening passage Pagham’s Ash Hawkes crossed but Grant Radmore went just wide and a high header from Hawkes was then negated by a routine overhead catch from YM keeper Aaron Jeal. YM came into contention at the midpoint of the first half, when Connor Kelly in the home goal punched out a free kick, but lively centre forward Leon Eales could only fire straight back at Kelly, before a YM curler from the left was scrambled clear.
YM now had the majority of possession, but it was difficult to see from where a goal might come. Then, a Pagham cross cum shot flirted with the neighbouring cricket ground ahead of a home corner, until YM passed up a golden opportunity with Eales firing strongly, but off target. Jeal then saved with his feet, only for Pagham to take the lead from an innocuous looking attack, the ball being struck into the far right corner by Jared Rance, defeating Jeal’s out-stretched lunge
In the few remaining first half minutes YM responded, with both Eales and Diego Carmo unleashing shots, Carmo’s long range blast being cleared, before the hosts headed over the bar at the other end.
The second half began with Eales scooping over the onrushing Kelly, who then caught a YM free kick. Pagham, though were beginning to give YM an examination, until, in the 71st minute, Rance took advantage of clear space to bang an unsaveable volley into the top left of the goal. Jeal prevented further damage, completing a brave prone save with a forward hurtling towards him. Two Pagham corners and a probing free kick were averted, amid YM substitutions, George New coming on to test Kelly. As the game ended YM were looking more composed at the back, but Pagham were making further inroads, albeit without inflicting further misery.
YM Assistant Manager Ryan King told us: “We were good in flashes, but not for long enough. We’re not far off where we need to be, and are putting in plenty of effort, so we just need to keep plugging away.”
On Saturday YM cross the Surrey border in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase against Sheerwater