Johnson brace inspires YM win against basement side Littlehampton

Littlehampton boss Mitchell Hand watches on. Picture by Matt Pole
Littlehampton boss Mitchell Hand watches on. Picture by Matt Pole

A Phil Johnson double inspired Horsham YMCA to a 2-0 home win against basement side Littlehampton Town in less than ideal football conditions.

This result extends YM's unbeaten run in the league to six games, and takes them up to second in the league after their promotion rivals saw games called off due to waterlogged pitches.

Action from YM v Littlehampton Town. Picture by Matt Pole

Action from YM v Littlehampton Town. Picture by Matt Pole

YM got off to a flying start. After eight minutes, a superb cross from the right by Dean Carden found the head of Phil Johnson and his header was tipped away by Littlehampton keeper Jon Hendrick for a corner.

From the corner the ball was whipped in to the box and caused chaos in the penalty area. After a goalmouth scramble, the ball was stabbed home by Johnson to give him his twelfth league goal of the season and YM a 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately for YM, forward Sam Schaaf came off with an injury and was replaced by Luke Donaldson on the 15th minute.

Mere moments later, a lovely through ball split the defence wide open and found dangerman Johnson. His shot beat the keeper but was denied by the post.

Johnson was not to be deterred as he grabbed his thirteenth league goal of the season, and YM's second in the 17th minute.

In almost a carbon copy of the previous move, another well timed through ball from midfield made its way to Johnson who rounded the keeper and showed great composure to finish the move.

Littlehampton were in real danger of another heavy defeat, after last weekend's 5-0 thumping by Eastbourne Town.

Just three minutes after conceding, YM's Dave Brown found Johnson who forced a good save from the keeper, before Brown's follow up attempt was charged down by a Littlehampton defender.

YM thought they had a third from a free kick, but was ruled out for offside.

In the 33rd minute, a free header from a YM corner shot over the bar as the home side fully exerted their dominance on the tie.

Moments before half time, a good long range effort from Littlehampton forward Alfie Gritt produced a good save from YM's Aaron Jeal in goal, but the first half ended 2-0.

As the second half began, the home side should have made it three. Just two minutes after the restart Johnson managed to wriggle through the defence and rounded the keeper but couldn't get a shot away.

As the half wore on Littlehampton grew in to the game. Sub Lucas Pattenden found himself one on one with the keeper after a good pass but he just couldn't make a good connection with the ball.

As conditions grew worse, both sides struggled. With chances at a premium, a mazy run from Donaldson called the keeper into action before a snap shot from Johnson was saved by the Littlehampton keeper.

Good work from Littlehampton's Pattenden in the 80th minute found Gritt whose shot was well taken by Jeal before a speculative effort from Littlehampton's Grant Thetford produced a save from the YM keeper just before the full time whistle.

A good three points for YM as they secured a 2-0 win and went in to second place. Littlehampton battled well but remain bottom of the league.