AFC Uckfield Town left to rue missed chances in Horsham YMCA loss

AFC Uckfield Town captain Richie Welch puts a Saltdean United player under pressure as Sam Cooper watches on. Picture by Mike Skinner
AFC Uckfield Town captain Richie Welch puts a Saltdean United player under pressure as Sam Cooper watches on. Picture by Mike Skinner

With countless opportunities but little fortune to go with it, a dominant AFC Uckfield Town were unable to overcome Horsham YMCA in a high-quality midweek game, with a late goal from the visitors seeing them steal a 2-1 win.

In a pulsating start, YM took the lead in the sixth minute as Jack Ryder beat Tayler Maddock on the left and squared to strike partner Matt Daniel, who thrashed beyond Phil Hawkins.

The Uckers struck back, and an equaliser came in spectacular fashion in the 15th minute. Sam Cooper’s cross-field pass found Camara and the winger crossed to Matt Maclean, who let fly with an overhead kick past Aaron Jeal.

Despite considerable pressure, the visitors were initially the most likely to grab another goal. A well-worked move forced Cooper to prevent an open goal after colliding with Hawkins.

The remaining chances before half-time were almost entirely Uckfield’s, with Liam Baitup almost flicking in from a corner, headers from Camara, Maddock and Ellis Cormack threatening the target, and just before the break Camara crashed a shot against the crossbar.

While the second half initially had fewer clear sights of goal, as the Uckers began to control again and YM threatened on the counter, the game began to open up.

Baitup twice fired just wide, YM’s Lewis Taylor had a shot blocked on the counter, and Cooper fired into Jeal’s gloves.

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Chances came and went as the half entered its later stages, with the tension rising.

With Gianfranco Mici only lacking the power to beat Jeal with a drive towards the bottom-left corner, YM responded as Tony Nwachukwu prodded wide when stretching to meet Daniel’s cross.

A decisive finish finally came in the 85th minute from Daniel. The forward met a cross from Nwachukwu, and after firing at Hawkins, and then Okojie, he tapped in at the third time of asking.

This proved to be the winning goal after the Uckers’ late efforts fell short.

AFC Uckfield Town visit second-placed Lancing on Saturday.

AFC Uckfield Town: Hawkins, Rodrigues-Barbosa (Smith 69), Cooper (Scott 87’, Sherriff, Maddock, Richie Welch, Okojie, Maclean, Baitup (Mici 79), Cormack, Camara

Unused: Ryan Welch, Loft