Mavericks sunk by second-half strike

Paul Elliott went close on a couple of occasions for Worthing United at home to Arundel
Paul Elliott went close on a couple of occasions for Worthing United at home to Arundel

WORTHING United Football Club boss Nigel Geary felt his side deserved a point from their 1-0 defeat at home to Arundel on Tuesday evening.

Dave Herbert’s goal 17 minutes from time was enough for Mullets to pick up all three points in the Southern Combination League Premier Division match on a heavy pitch at Lyons Way.

Both teams worked hard and showed plenty of endeavour throughout as a number of chances came and went during the first half.

It was Mavericks who should have opened the scoring after just five minutes when Mullets failed to clear Alfie Gritt’s low cross and Paul Elliott’s shot skimmed a post from eight yards.

Five minutes later, Arundel missed a glorious opportunity themselves when Harry Russell raced on to Herbert’s clever reverse pass but fired wide of the far post with the outside of his right foot.

United keeper Matt Evans saved shots from Spencer Adams and Rory Biggs, before Gritt volleyed over from close range at the other end.

Chances continued to fall to both sides as Herbert side-footed against the base of a post on 26 minutes.

Arundel’s Liam Da Costa then fired straight at Evans, before Arundel keeper James Fernandes claimed Wayne Joseph’s skidding low effort at the second attempt.

Herbert then had another opening two minutes before half-time but was denied by Evans’ legs.

There were fewer chances in the second period but Elliott almost gave Mavericks the lead when he cut in from the right and sent a left-footed shot just wide of the far post.

Moments later, Pat Rose got through on goal but was denied by Fernandes’s legs, before United were forced into a reshuffle when left-back Ben Hall went off with a calf injury on 67 minutes.

Geary felt that disrupted his side and Arundel went ahead six minutes later. Moments after Evans had kept out Russell’s deflected volley, Herbert broke through on goal after a mistake at the back and coolly fired home.

United had a couple of openings to earn a point but Fernandes was out quickly to deny substitute Aaron Tugnutt and Rose then fired straight at Fernandes from 18 yards in injury-time.

Geary said: “We didn’t get going after the substitution and then made an error.

“We said before the game that the team that makes the most errors will lose today.

“It was unlucky because, if I’m being honest, they probably shaded the first half and we were the better team in the second half and a draw would have probably been the fair result but that’s football.

“I can’t go in there and criticise the boys, they did everything tonight but put the ball in the net. We then made a mistake and they scored but I’m not going to blame anyone for that.”

United entertain Loxwood on Saturday, before they travel to Littlehampton on Tuesday evening.

UNITED: Evans; Taylor, Marsh, Hasan, Hall; Elliott, Rose, Gilmour, Edwards, Joseph; Gritt. Subs: Nagle (Hall 67), Tugnutt (Joseph 80), Wotherspoon (Edwards 82), Clarke.

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