A RYAN McBride hat-trick helped Worthing Football Club to maintain their unbeaten start to the season this afternoon (Saturday) with a 5-1 drubbing of Merstham.
Rebels have now won four and drawn one of their first five games of the Ryman League Division 1 South season and move up to second, level on 13 points with Bognor, who drew 0-0 at Sittingbourne. Dulwich top the division having won 2-1 at Chipstead.
Rebels were pegged back in the opening stages by a pressing Merstham side who probably didn’t deserve to go into the break 3-1 down.
John Lansdale out Worthing ahead on six minutes from the penalty spot after the impressive Jamie Brotherton had his legs taken away in the area.
McBride latched onto a cross 16 minutes later and turned well to dispatch it past David Wilkinson in the Merstham goal.
And although the visitors grabbed a lifeline as Glen Woodburn put a slight downer on an impressive defence display by swinging a boot at a ball played into the box to turn it past Alan Mansfield, Brotherton raced down the right wing and squared for McBride to turn home soon after and restore the two-goal lead right on half-time.
After the break Rebels started to dominate and Brotherton got his rewards for a fine performance on 64 minutes.
Tom Manton put in an excellent tackle in the middle of the park to get the ball from a Merstham centre-back and slide in Brotherton, who drove into the area one one one with Wilkinson and dinked the ball over him.
McBride completed the rout of 75 minutes as a fine passing move down the left involving Budd and Manton saw the later cross for the striker who finished with aplomb.
Rebels boss Chris White said: “We got there in the end, but they were the best side we have played so far. In the first half they do to us what we have been doing to team, really pressing us.
“I thought Ryan and Tom Manton were the best two players on the pitch today. Tom’s pressing and closing down in midfield was great and Ryan’s work rate was unbelievable - he was a different class and really deserved his goals.”
For full reaction from White, McBride himself and a full match report see Thursday’s Worthing Herald.
Rebels now travel to Folkestone on Wednesday night.
WORTHING: Mansfield, Piper, Hurley, Woodburn, Franks; Brotherton, Lansdale, Budd, Manton, Lawley. McBride. Subs: Gedling (Franks 6), Metcalf, Pulling (Brotherton 75) , T.Timms, Murphy (Budd 78).