Five-star Rebels sink Maidstone

Steve Davies heads home Worthing's third goal.
Steve Davies heads home Worthing's third goal.

WORTHING Football Club continued their impressive home form with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Maidstone United at Woodside Road on Saturday.

In truth, the scoreline could have been even more favourable for the Rebels, but without the suspended Ryan McBride and Tom Lawley, manager Chris White would have been very pleased indeed.

The opening exchanges were fairly even until, on 17 minutes, Mike Huckett crossed from the left to find skipper Tom Manton, who buried with aplomb from just inside the box.

The Rebels doubled their lead when Steve Davies was brought down in the area by Lee Gledhill and Huckett sent visiting keeper Daren Hawkes the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-0, but even more concerning for the Stones was that Gledhill rightly received his marching orders with 70 minutes still to play.

The red card seemed to galvanise the visitors, however, who pulled one back on the half-hour with Alex Flisher’s two pushes on Matt Hurley missed by the officials, and that allowed him to cross for the robust Shaun Welford to nod home from close range.

Rebels had a good shout for a second penalty when Davies’ shot appeared to be blocked by an arm, but the appeals were waved away, and Flisher had a chance to level the scores on the break but Alan Mansfield was equal to his effort.

Worthing went into the break with a two-goal cushion thanks to some distinctly average goalkeeping from Hawkes. The Stones keeper failed to take a hopeful cross from Jamie Brotherton and Davies was there to head home from all of a yard out.

Rebels started the second period brightly and were soon 4-1 up as a cross broke to Luke Gedling, who smashed home from 20 yards, giving Hawkes no chance after 51 minutes.

And the scoring was completed by Huckett on 66 minutes with the best goal of the game as he cut inside from the left wing and curled home into Hawkes’ far corner.

The only fly in Rebels’ ointment was the red card shown to Paul Kennett for two bookings with 12 minutes remaining, and even though the first yellow was possibly harsh, that did not excuse the second and the influential midfielder will almost certainly miss two games as a result.

A contented Rebels manager Chris White said afterwards: “I was really pleased with the performance, especially since we had Ryan McBride and Tom Lawley missing today.

“We should have won by more, but I can’t really complain. I thought Steve Davies and Mike Huckett did well considering that they have just come back from injury and I will have a bit of a selection headache when everyone’s back available.”

Rebels are now unbeaten in 11 home league games this season, with eight wins and three draws.

WORTHING: Mansfield; Piper, Hurley, Woodburn, Metcalf; Kennett, Manton, Huckett; Brotherton, Davies, Gedling. Subs: Pulling (Metcalf 59), Charles (Brotherton 85), Franks (Gedling 88), Lansdale, Budd. Att: 277.