Rebels begin new era with a defeat

Worthing's Ben Pope celebrates his goal in their pre-season friendly clash with Northampton Town at Woodside Road last night

Worthing's Ben Pope celebrates his goal in their pre-season friendly clash with Northampton Town at Woodside Road last night

  • Rebels hosted their first game on the new 3G pitch
  • Ben Pope bagged Worthong’s first and became the opening Rebels player to net on the pitch
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WORTHING Football Club began life on their new 3G pitch on Tuesday.

Rebels welcomed Football League opposition as League 2 side Northampton Town travelled to Woodside Road.

A bumper crowd was in attendance for the match with 776 taking in the first game of the club’s new era.

Worthing fielded a different 11 in each half as they got their pre-season preparations under way.

The home side got off to the worst possible start as confusion between Corey Heath and Jack Fagn allowed Gozie Ugwu in, and he slotted into an empty net to put Northampton ahead on five minutes.

Rebels responded well, though, and Ben Pope became the first Worthing player to net on the 3G surface.

Lloyd Dawes’ superb through ball with the outside of his right foot found Pope and he made no mistake with his finish.

Northampton were back in front on 20 minutes as Ivan Toney crossed for Ricky Holmes who crashed home his effort.

The Cobblers added a third ten minutes before the interval when Lawson D’Ath’s pinpoint cross was headed home by Sam Hoskins.

A dominant half from the visitors looked as if it would be rounded off with another goal when they were awarded a penalty on 44 minutes.

Steve Metcalf brought Jason Taylor down but Holmes stepped up from the spot and saw his effort saved by Fagan.

That miss did not matter as on 55 minutes Northampton netted a fourth.

Marc Richards somehow squeezed a shot past Rikki Banks at the front post to put the Cobblers three goals ahead.

Rebels were given a lifeline ten minutes later, though, as they were awarded a penatly of their own.

Omar Bugiel was brought down off-the-ball by Zander Diamond.

Bugiel got up and dispatched the spot-kick to offer his side some hope.

But no comeback was to materialise as with 12 minutes left Joel Byrom bagged a fifth for Northampton.

WORTHING first-half team: Fagan; Hendon, Elphick, Heath, Metcalf; Dawes, O’Callaghan, O’Neill, Smith, Morey; Pope.

WORTHING second-half team: Banks; Piper, Axell, Berry, Sparks; Davis, Hurley, Muwanga, Rance, Quirke, Bugiel.

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