Let's not get involved in a relegation dogfight - Elphick

Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick wants his side to secure their Ryman League Premier Division status sooner rather than later.

Shaun Bammant got the only goal three minutes from time as Worthing were sent crashing to a seventh league defeat in eight matches by Lowestoft Town at Woodside Road on Saturday.

Following the loss, Elphick’s side dropped a place to 14th in the standings, leaving them nine points off fourth-bottom Leatherhead and the final relegation place with seven games to go.

Despite being on 50 points currently, Worthing joint manager Elphick feels there is still work to be done this season.

He said: “We don’t want to get ourselves involved in a relegation scrap. It’s not something the club or fans deserve but the league table does not lie.

“We’ve worked hard this season but we can’t afford to think we’re safe at the minute.

“I want us to grab a couple more wins and cement our spot in this division for next season.”

Worthing could all but seal their Ryman League Premier Division status with two away games coming up in the space of three days.

First, they travel to fourth-placed play-off chasers Leiston on Saturday, then they go to Merstham three days later.

Elphick believes these fixtures will throw up two very different challenges but sees no reason why his side can’t collect a considerable points tally. He added: “These will be two very contrasting games.

“Leiston are quite physical and it will be a tough pitch up there. Then going to Merstham could not be more contrasting. They like to get the ball down and play, so we’ll face two very different challenges in those matches.”

Goalkeeper Kieran Thorp, who missed the Lowestoft clash with food poisoning, and skipper Kane Wills look set to feature at Leiston, with Wills available after a ban.

With striker Lloyd Dawes less than two weeks away from fitness after a hamstring injury and long-term absentee Ben Pope edging closer to a comeback, Elphick feels it’s a positive time on the injury front.

He said: “I think Kieran and Kane would have made a massive difference against Lowestoft. They weren’t available and we had to deal with that but we’ll be pleased to have them back.

“Lloyd and Ben are close to returns as well, so we’ve got some good news on injuries at the minute.

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