It’s a test of the players’ mentality now – Meeney

Lloyd Dawes played the full 90 minutes in Worthing's defeat to Harrow Borough last night.  Picture by Marcus Hoare
Lloyd Dawes played the full 90 minutes in Worthing's defeat to Harrow Borough last night. Picture by Marcus Hoare

Worthing Football Club joint manager Jon Meeney reflected on a difficult week for his side and said: “It’s a test of the players’ mentality from now until the end of the season.”

Three defeats over the course of seven days in the Ryman League Premier Division have all but ended any faint hopes of claiming a play-off place.

A loss at AFC Sudbury last Tuesday was followed by back-to-back defeats at Woodside Road to Enfield Town and Harrow Borough.

Harrow inflicted a heaviest home league loss of the season on Worthing with a 4-0 rout on Tuesday.

Reflecting on a testing week for the club, Meeney believes Worthing’s players must now show their worth in the final 12 games. He said: “For me, our mentality has been poor in the past three games. We’ve moved away from our team cohesion on the pitch and our principles of play.

“We’ll get the footage from the past two matches and show the boys at training this evening. They need educating, that’s how Gary (Elphick; joint boss) and I work – the boys need to relive the past two games because they have not been good enough.

“It’s all well and good when you have got good momentum and things are going your way, but when it turns you learn about your players.

“So far this season, we’ve seen the good, bad and ugly from the squad and what that does is allows myself and Gary to pose questions to our group of players, then receive answers that can make us best prepared in the remaining games.”

George Nicholas slammed home Michael Bryan’s cross in first-half stoppage-time to ensure Harrow went in one goal to the good on Tuesday.

A crazy six-minute spell then saw Worthing concede three times to slump to their heaviest home league defeat of the season.

Bryan fired into the top corner after latching on to a Marc Charles-Smith cutback 13 minutes from the end.

Things got worse for Worthing three minutes later.

Sahr Kabba left Corey Heath behind, then pulled the ball back for Kurtis Cumberbatch to make it three. Kabba added a fourth to round off a manic six-minute spell as Harrow ran out 4-0 victors.

Worthing, in tenth, now trail fifth-placed Leiston and the play-off places by six points, having played four games more.

Meeney believes a spot in the top five is now beyond his team but does not want the season to peter out.

He said: “Gary and I have stated previously that we don’t want this season to just fizzle out because what people will remember is the final 15 games. We’ve lost three games on the spin and it’s important we don’t let things fizzle out. There have been some memorable moments. When we have a group of core players back, we will be a match for any team in this league, home or away.

“We’re close but we are still far from the play-offs. It’s been a good season, we’ve over-achieved, we always want to be the best that we can be and keep moving forward.”

Worthing are at Staines on Saturday.

WORTHING: Thorp; Waller, Elphick, Heath, Rents; Wills, Hallard; Hopkinson, Ajiboye, Sparks, Dawes. Subs: O’Neill, Clark (Ajiboye, 62), Edwards (Edwards, 78), Brodie (Hopkinson, 81), Belward.

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