Peter Buckland revealed his experimenting ‘failed miserably’ after Steyning Town comfortably dismantled his Horsham YMCA side in the Peter Bentley Cup on Tuesday night.
Steyning edged a tight first-half after Grant Radmore tucked in the opener after 17 minutes before a second-half collapse saw YM fall unassailably behind with Tiago Andrade notching either side of Radmore’s two hat-trick completing strikes.
Buckland didn’t appear to be too concerned, revealing he used the match as an opportunity to experiment within his team. He said: “I don’t want to disrespect the competition but being the league cup, and the fact that no points were up for grabs, I decided to take the opportunity to cover a couple of things in terms of shape and patterns of play. It failed miserably.
“Sometimes a football game gives you more questions than answers but last night I definitely ticked boxes of who can play where, who can’t, and I needed to do it because of our injury situation.”
However Buckland was complimentary of Gerry Murphy’s side and felt they deserved to progress.
READ MORE Horsham manager Di Paola: 'Our first aim is survival' | Loxwood punished by 'silly individual mistakes' and inconsistency in FA Vase exit | Find out who faces who in the first round of the Sussex Senior Cup
He said: “We were comprehensively beaten by a better team. They moved the ball quicker, they worked harder, they wanted it more and it was just not a good day. I’m not looking for an excuse, but maybe I shouldn’t have chosen a Tuesday night away on a synthetic pitch to try out one or two things.
“Sometimes you’ve got to look at the opposition more than yourself and I was very impressed with Steyning.
“They worked really hard and I guess they see it as a good opportunity to pick up some silverware, in their first season in the Premier Division, but we’ve just got to take it on the chin and move on.”
He added: “In hindsight I should have just kept to the formation and we could have got a draw, extra time and penalties but, deep down, I’ve got to accept the fact that Steyning were simply far better than us.”
YMCA take on Peacehaven at the Horsham Family Lawyers Stadium this Saturday (September 21).
Horsham YMCA: A Jeal, Carden, Evans, Harding, Daniel, Gilbert, Gedling, Hunt, Lovegrove, Smith, Ryder. Subs: Clarke, C Jeal, Pearse.