More consistency Elphick’s target after pleasing start

Zack Newton
Zack Newton

Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick has been delighted with his side’s start to the season but is now hoping for more consistency.

After a 2-1 defeat at home to lowly Hendon in the Ryman League Premier Division on Saturday, Worthing won 3-1 at Kingstonian on Monday and now sit seventh in the table with 23 points from 16 games.

Worthing have won seven and lost seven of their league matches so far and Elphick said: “It’s such a tough league that it may take us a season to get used to things and be more consistent.

“You’re playing at a high level every week in this league compared to last year and if you don’t perform, you’re going to end up with a negative result. But we’re doing all right and it’s a great points return from our games so far and I’d have taken it at the start of the season.”

Elphick does not want to set any targets for his young side this season and said: “We’ve got to take it week by week, that’s the best way to be as there’s no point in setting any targets.

“Our next ten league games are going to be tough and at times this season you haven’t known which Worthing is going to turn up.

“Now we’re heading into a period where we’ve got games Saturday to Saturday more, it gives us a bit more time to work on things in training but I’m happy with our start overall.”

Reis Stanislaus gave Worthing the lead at Kingstonian after six minutes on Monday from Kane Wills’ ball over the top.

The visitors had opportunities to go further ahead but made a slow start to the second half and Kingstonian levelled through Ryan Moss on 55 minutes.

Worthing then made a double substitution on 65 minutes, introducing Ross Edwards and Zack Newton for Matt Axell and Brannon O’Neill, and it paid immediate dividends.

Omar Bugiel played in Newton, who beat four players and then rounded the keeper to slot home.

Harvey Sparks added a third with a fantastic strike for his seventh goal of the season on 73 minutes, before Jack Fagan – who replaced Rikki Banks in goal – made a fantastic late save.

On bringing Fagan in, for his 100th appearance for the club, Elphick said: “We just felt Rikki needed a rest and to recharge his batteries and Jack has been chomping at the bit.

“It’s great to have two goalkeepers of this quality at the club and the number one shirt is up for grabs but no one’s place in any position is safe and that’s the way it should be.”

On Newton’s goal-of-the-season contender, Elphick said: “It was a breathtaking goal and on his day, there’s not a better winger in the league than Zack.

“He’s still getting used to playing at this level week in, week out and when he does he’ll be more consistent.”

Worthing entertain Southern League Division 1 Central Kempston Rovers in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, before they host Arundel in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday.

WORTHING: Fagan; Hendon, Cook, Heath, Rents; Wills, O’Neill, Axell, Sparks; Stanislaus, Bugiel. Subs: Edwards, Newton (O’Neill, Axell 65), Brodie (Stanislaus 77), Elphick, Banks.

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