United show character to earn late home draw

United celebrate Frank Foster's early goal.
United celebrate Frank Foster's early goal.

Worthing United manager Simon Funnell praised his side’s character after they scored a late equaliser on Saturday – and then almost won.

Mavericks went ahead early on through Frank Foster but Broadbridge Heath responded through Scott Weller and Jake Holmes to lead 2-1 with just three minutes to go.

However, United kept going and Matt Hards levelled a minute from time, before substitute Connor Pomeroy almost won it but shot wide when he got through on goal.

United remain third from bottom in the Southern Combination League Premier Division but Funnell said: “Going 2-1 down so late in the game, the boys could have just turned it in but they showed a lot of character to get back in it.

“It was a good reaction and then we almost won it.

“Over the course of the 90 minutes, 2-2 was probably a fair result but we could have nicked it.”

United went ahead on five minutes when Alfie Gritt’s diagonal ball was laid back by Pat Rose for Foster to shoot into the bottom corner - Mavericks’ first goal for 575 minutes.

The visitors levelled through Scott Weller eight minutes before half-time and then went ahead when Jake Holmes struck three minutes from time.

United responded well and equalised on 89 minutes when Hards worked his way into the penalty area and fired home.

Mavericks then could have won it as Pomeroy got in at an angle but, with Heath defenders closing in, fired wide of the far post.

Funnell added: “I’m glad we scored a goal as although I’ve only been here a couple of games, it had been six matches since we’d scored.

“It’s a game we’d have taken a point from before the game, against a team sixth in the table, and it’s another positive for us after the performance against Pagham last week, even though we lost that match.

“We’ve played two of the top six sides in the league in the last two matches and have done okay.I know what the players can do now and they’ve got to keep producing what they have done in the last two games.

“We’ve only brought in three new players so far – Ben Ewing, Josh Fuller and Joe Smith, who made his debut on Saturday.

“Hopefully we’ll have another two in for Saturday when we’re at home to Newhaven and we’ll have Chamal Fenelon back available as well.

“It will be tough to change the side after Saturday’s performance but we’ll see how everyone comes through the week.

“Alfie went off with a groin injury on Saturday, so hopefully it’s not too bad as he’s a big presence for us and he has got a goal in him, however Connor came on for him and did very well.”

UNITED: Trigwell; Marsh, Fuller, Smith, Ewing; Hards, Todd, Foster, Callaghan, Rose; Gritt. Subs: Pomeroy (Gritt 20), Stideford (Foster 70), Jordan (Rose 80), Allen, Patching.

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