Defensive mistakes again cost Rebels

DEFENSIVE mistakes again cost Worthing Football Club on Saturday in their 2-1 defeat at home to Sittingbourne, but boss Chris White was also critical of his side’s attacking play.

The loss was Rebels’ third in a row at Woodside Road and leaves them a disappointing 12th in Ryman League Division 1 South.

Having got into a position to push for the top five around Christmas, White admitted two weeks ago that his side have not been good enough to reach the play-offs and it was the same old problems which cost his side victory.

After taking an early lead, two long balls caught out the Worthing defence, resulting in a quickfire double for Sittingbourne’s Ryan Golding, and Rebels then wasted several chances in the second half to get a point, which they probably deserved.

White said: “We’ve said it time and time again that we can’t keep giving goals away.

“It’s another two defensive mistakes when our two centre backs just went to sleep and one ball has beaten them for both goals. We did all right in the second half, huffed and puffed, and their keeper made a couple of good saves.

“But our decision-making was poor in the final third when it came down to when to cross and when to shoot.”

Rebels started brightly on Saturday – boosted by their win at Whyteleafe last Tuesday – and went ahead after just nine minutes. Luke Gedling played a clever one-two with Tom Manton before running onto the ball, rounding Sittingbourne keeper Matt Reed and firing past the two defenders who had got back on the goal line.

Sittingbourne then started to get more into the game and levelled on 28 minutes when Golding raced onto a long ball forward, held off three defenders and brilliantly fired into the top corner with the outside of his right foot from 25 yards.

Five minutes later, Sittingbourne went ahead. Golding got put through down the left, cut into the penalty area and coolly slotted past Josh Heyburn, who was making his home debut for Rebels.

That was the way things stayed until half-time and Worthing went close twice early in the second half. Tom Lawley had a stinging drive well saved by Reed before Reed tipped Steve Metcalf’s header from John Lansdale’s corner onto the post and out for another flag-kick.

Reed then saved a low deflected Lansdale effort, before Tom Manton had an acrobatic volleyed tipped over by the Sittingbourne keeper.

Sittingbourne wasted a golden chance to wrap up the points on 81 minutes when Golding selfishly tried to complete his hat-trick, and was denied by Heyburn, when strike-partner Hicham Akhazzan would have had a simple tap-in had he passed.

They almost regretted that miss in the fourth minute of injury-time when Terry Dodd met Gedling’s corner, with Reed in no man’s land, but his header clipped the top of the bar and went over.

Rebels travel to Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday without Ryan Timms, who is suspended, and Mark Pulling and Dan White, who are both unavailable.

WORTHING: Heyburn; Metcalf, Farmer, T.Timms, Pulling; Saunders, Manton, Gedling, Lawley; Huckett; Dodd. Subs: R.Timms (T.Timms 45, ankle injury), Lansdale (Huckett 48, groin injury), D.White (Lawley 78), Charles, Peake. Att: 195.