Casuals hold Rebels to scoreless draw

Action from Rebels' match with Corinthian Casuals
Action from Rebels' match with Corinthian Casuals

WORTHING Football Club’s winless Ryman League Division 1 South run increased to three games on Saturday when they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Corinthian Casuals.

The Rebels versus the Casuals may have sounded like a tag line for the film Quadrophenia 2 and perhaps the cinema may have been the better option as entertainment was kept to a minimum by what Rebels manager Chris White correctly described as “a poor game” at Woodside Road.

Rebels had 18-year-old keeper Josh Heyburn, signed from Peacehaven and who played three games for Worthing last season, in goal, with Alan Mansfield ruled out with an ankle injury, and defender Danny Gainsford, who has dual-signed with Lancing, played in defence with Matt Hurley unavailable.

Rebels mustered just five attempts on target during the entire game, with the visitors faring little better under the watchful eye of their president and football legend Jimmy Hill.

Worthing actually started brightly without really threatening and had claims for a penalty waved away as early as the second minute for a handball against defender Wayne Finnie. Rebels’ Jamie Brotherton seemed to be at the heart of anything that was positive in Worthing’s attacking play, but nothing came of the early dominance.

With a rookie goalkeeper, perhaps Rebels were lucky that the performance was pretty abject from both sides but Heyburn saved well from former Rebel Jamal Carr’s break just before half-time in what was the only attempt on target in the first period.

The second half barely improved the mood of a near silent crowd but the hosts managed a shot on target just two minutes into the half although Brotherton’s effort from Steve Metcalf’s cross was straight at visiting keeper Adam Peck.

Casuals started to believe that they might get something out of the game and centre forward Joel Thompson should have done better on 58 minutes when he rode three challenges only to blaze over from the edge of the area, having done the difficult bit in fashioning the shooting opportunity in the first place.

Worthing came closest to opening the scoring in the 64th minute as Ryan McBride’s through ball found Mike Huckett but his attempt to lob Peck only found the bar, and what with Johnson once again wasting a good chance at the other end, the writing seemed to be on the wall as far as the scoreline was concerned.

Casuals should have sealed all three points, however, with just three minutes left on the clock as Paul Honey’s goalbound effort was inexplicably touched in on the line by the hand of the offside Glenn Boosey and after a short consultation with his lineman, amid protests from the Rebels’ players, referee Webb disallowed the goal.

McBride had a chance to win the game in added time but his shot was easily smothered by the advancing Peck, and it would have been harsh on Casuals, although had Glenn Woodburn’s blatant push in the home box just before the final whistle been spotted, it could have been worse for Rebels.

White said: “Having lost the last couple of games, we looked a bit sorry for ourselves, which is unlike us.

“Our team spirit is the thing that will get us through and we’ve got to take the positives out of this game, namely a clean sheet with two new faces in the back five. Fortunately, those around us are also slipping up.”

WORTHING: Heyburn; Piper, Woodburn, Gainsford, Metcalf; Brotherton, Kennett, Huckett, Gedling, Lawley; McBride. Subs: Budd (Huckett 69), Pulling (Piper 72), Davies (Gedling 80), Charles, Lewis. Att: 266.