Sussex Senior Cup 2nd Rd: AFC Uckfield 0 Horsham YMCA 1
AFC Uckfield can take a lot of positives out of this game with Division One high-fliers Horsham YMCA, despite being knocked out of the Sussex Senior Cup following a Dan Sullivan second half strike.
The winger’s 57th minute effort was all that separated the sides, with the hosts spurring several chances to draw level against a Horsham side sitting in the top five of Division One.
Despite the defeat that put an end to a run of five matches unbeaten, Ray Collier will take a lot of heart from his side’s performance and work rate, but will feel aggrieved that they were not clinical enough in front of goal.
The signs of an upset were there for all to see early on, as Uckfield made a positive start to the game. Aaron Capon was allowed to run through on goal, but an impressive Sam Smith in the visitors’ goal came out well to block the Oaks’ top scorer’s effort.
Andy Albon then was forced into action after Nick Sullivan fired the ball goalwards, before the Oaks knocked on the door once again when Steve Major did well to play the ball through to Howard Davey, but his low effort across the face of goal went narrowly past the post.
Horsham then saw a goal disallowed. Dan Sullivan chipped the ball in to the area and Albon failed to come out and collect it. The loose ball fell to the feet of centre half Matt Crane, whose effort found its way into the bottom corner only for the flag to be raised against Liam Hunter, with the midfielder impeding the scrambling Albon.
A resurgent Oaks side came out and threatened from the off at the start of the second half, but failed to find a way past Smith.
Although under threat early in the second half, it was Division One Horsham who broke the deadlock before the hour. Hunter’s low ball across the field of play could not be intercepted by the lunging Carl Kenward, which allowed Dan Sullivan a clear run on goal down the right and the former Crawley Down player took full advantage as he lifted the ball over the advancing Albon and into the far corner.
The hosts’ frustration in front of goal increased on the hour. Davey did well to get the better of Lee Wood but a mix-up between the midfielder and George Callingham saw them both go for the same ball, with a tame effort comfortably saved by Smith.
Callingham then wasted what proved to be the Oaks’ best chance of the match on 67 minutes. The striker was sent through on goal but, one-on-one with Smith, could only fire the ball horribly high and wide with the outside of his foot.
AFC Uckfield now travel to third from bottom Rustington tomorrow (Saturday).
Report by Anthony Scott. Slideshow pictures by Peter Cripps.
OAKS: Albon, Saunders, Kenward, Pollard ©, Guy, Lyell, Capon (Henty 87), Legate, Callingham (Adams 82), Major (Espley 73), Davey. Not Used: Cherryman.
YMCA: S Smith, Wood (B Curtis 73), Evans, Burgess, Crane, O’Carroll (M Smith 60), D Sullivan, Dugdale, N Sullivan, Hunter (Hutchings 60), Brown.
Stats: (AFC-YMCA). Shots: 6-7; Shots On Target: 3-2; Corners: 5-5; Fouls Committed: 17-11; Caught Offside: 4-2.