CURTIS GAYLER was the star of the show for Worthing Football Club on Saturday as he bagged four goals in their comfortable win away to nine-man Three Bridges.
It capped a remarkable week for midfielder Gayler, as he had netted two penalties in the 2-2 draw with Carshalton the previous Saturday and was also on target in Rebels’ 4-0 win over Redhill last Wednesday.
Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood was full of praise for the young midfielder and said: “To score seven goals in a week is an unbelievable return.
“His work ethic is really good and he’s getting better and better with the more games he plays. He’s only going to get better as the season goes on as well.
“He’s developed a really good understanding with Will Hendon down the right and they were a real threat all game. With Harvey Sparks coming in and playing regularly as well, it bodes well for the future of the team.”
On a goal target now for Gayler, Hinshelwood said: “At the start of the season, you wouldn’t normally set a midfielder a target of 20.
“But he’s on nine now and, with the way he strikes a ball – especially from outside the penalty area – I think that 20 could be a realistic target for him.”
Rebels took the lead inside a minute at Bridges when Ben Pope intercepted a pass and played in Trevor McCreadie, who netted his 12th goal of the season but first since October.
Gayler doubled Worthing’s advantage after just four minutes when he fired home from the edge of the penalty box, following a corner routine.
Bridges pulled a goal back through Allan Tait on 17 minutes but Worthing moved 3-1 ahead on 25 minutes. McCreadie was tripped in the penalty area and Gayler scored from the spot.
The hosts were reduced to ten men shortly afterwards when former Rebels captain Jamie Crellin was shown a straight red card when he took a free kick and it hit the referee on the back. Hinshelwood admitted it seemed a harsh decision, although he felt that his side were already in control of the game by that stage.
Bridges manager Paul Faili was sent from the dug-out following his protests for Crellin’s dismissal, before Worthing added a fourth on 42 minutes. Gayler crashed home an effort from outside the penalty area to complete his hat-trick.
The hosts were reduced to nine men early in the second half when another former Worthing player, Matt Whitehead, was sent off for a second booking.
Gayler blasted home his fourth from 35 yards to put Rebels 5-1 ahead on 62 minutes, although the hosts got a second goal through Tony Garrod with ten minutes to go.
Pope added Worthing’s sixth just two minutes later when he finished well, following a move down the right.
Hinshelwood added: “They were riled up and put in a couple of hefty challenges but I was pleased to see that it didn’t phase us and we controlled the game.”
WORTHING: Fagan; Hendon, Berry, Hurley, Sparks; Gayler, Killner, O’Neill, Bugiel; Pope, McCreadie. Subs: Rance (Killner 20), Gilbertson, Richards (Bugiel, Gayler 75).