United undone by slow start at Eastbourne

Action from Worthing United's match with Chichester on Saturday

Action from Worthing United's match with Chichester on Saturday

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Worthing United fell to defeat at high-flying Eastbourne United on Tuesday evening after a slow start left them 2-0 down inside 14 minutes.

Mavericks boss Nigel Geary said his side’s performance in the opening exchanges was ‘borderline embarrassing’ but felt they were much the better side in the second half. United created numerous chances to get a goal back, before Eastbourne sealed all three points in the final minute.

Geary said: “We were horrendous for the first 25 minutes or so and it was borderline embarrassing. We couldn’t do the simple things, just like passing the ball and controlling it.

“But for the last hour of the game, we were phenomenal and battered them in the second half. We created numerous chances but we’ve just got to stop giving sloppy goals away as you’re not going to come back from 2-0 down at one of the best sides in the league too often.”

Liam Baitup and Callum Hart put Eastbourne 2-0 up in 14 minutes but Mavericks came more into the game in the second half.

Mike Waller, Paul Elliott, Frank Foster and Adrian Todd all went close, while United also had penalty appeals waved away for challenges on James McKerhan.

Eastbourne added a late third through Max Hollobone.

Geary felt there was a foul on Mike Waller in the build-up to Eastbourne’s first goal, while he was also frustrated to have two penalty appeals turned down.

He said: “The referee was poor for both sides. There was a clear foul on Mike before they scored their first goal and James should have had a penalty in the second half but he stayed on his feet.

“If he’d gone down, it would have been a penalty but he’s been penalised for trying to stay on his feet and it’s not right.

“Then later in the game he’s been tripped in the penalty area and a foul was given against him, so we just didn’t get the rub of the green I felt we deserved.”

WORTHING UNITED: Evans; Waller, Callaghan, Stideford, Marsh, Foster, Todd, Hards, P.Elliott, Rose, Fenelon. Subs: Gritt (Fenelon 56), McKerhan (Elliott 69).

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