Well what certainly warmed the heart on a bitterly cold evening at 'The Mead'.
Tuesday 19th February
Suburban Challenge Shield
Venue: Gorings Mead
Horsham YMCA Reserves 6 (Lowe 10, Greig 31, 41, 84, 88, Taylor 64)
Carshalton Athletic Reserves 0
FOUR-GOAL GREIG HELPS YM TO SUPERB SHIELD WIN
Horsham YMCA Reserves quickly bounced back from their weekend defeat to Met Police, as four goals from debutant Keiron Greig helped them to a 6-0 mauling of Carshalton Athletic in the Suburban Challenge Shield on Tuesday evening.
The hosts were dominant from the first whistle, taking the game to The Robins and playing some mesmerising football in the process.
With just ten minutes played Harry Lowe had opened the scoring. After some slick play down the YM left, Brad Curtis’ shot was well stopped by the visitors’ goalkeeper, but the young winger was on hand to fire home off the post from the edge of the area.
YM ‘keeper Paul Williams then made a good stop to deny a Carshalton striker when clean through, in what was to be the Robins’ only real chance on goal all game.
Hosts’ striker Oli Leslie pulled the strings for YM up front, sliding in Lee Wood on the quarter hour mark, only to poke straight at the ‘keeper, before linking with the winger again to create YM’s second of the evening.
First teamer Wood played a delightful one-two with the lean forward, before crossing for Greig, whose miss-timed effort somehow ricocheted off his knee and looped over the Carshalton ‘keeper and into the net.
And within ten minutes of doubling their lead, YM had grabbed a third. Leslie was again influential in the build up, this time flicking the ball through for Greig to run onto and coolly slot past the on-rushing ‘keeper to make it 3-0.
Full-back Chris Spiers could have then made it four before the break, but his drilled effort, after yet more positive work from Leslie, was expertly tipped round the post by the visitors’ stopper.
The onslaught then continued after the restart, as YM found an even higher gear to punish their opponents in.
Russell Curtis fired wide from a tight angle and Leslie saw a dinked effort cleared off the line, before YM lost left back Zach Gray to a nasty looking knee injury ten minutes in.
That failed to halt the hosts however, as just moments after the seven minute break in play YM made it 4-0. Substitute Ryan Taylor rounded off a sensational team goal, latching onto an intricate Leslie turn and pass on the edge of the area, before lashing the ball into the roof of the net.
By this point Carshalton were restricted to meagre efforts from range, and as each attempt flew over the hosts’ crossbar, a new wave of YM pressure quickly ensued.
With fifteen minutes to play, Greig then rounded off an excellent debut display by completing his hatrick, capitalising on a poor defensive clearance to nip in and fire home from six yards.
But the YM number ten didn’t stop there, as just five minutes later he had bagged a fourth, tapping in at the far post after Brad Curtis’ initial attempt had been parried by the Robins’ ‘keeper.
The victory makes it two wins from three for YM in the Suburban Shield, and they’ll be looking to extend their positive start to the competition when they face Molesey away on Saturday.
Horsham YMCA V Carshalton Athletic
10 Shots On Target 4
6 Shots Off Target 6
0 Offsides 1
7 Corners 3
12 Fouls 10
1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
YM (4-2-3-1): Williams, Spiers, Breivik, Dixon, Gray (Sleat 55), R. Curtis, B. Curtis, Wood (Taylor 45), Greig, Lowe, Leslie (Hyett 74)
Report by Tom Norris