STRIKER Ryan McBride was over the moon to net his first hat-trick for Worthing Football Club on Saturday and admitted there’s a real buzz around the Woodside Road outfit at the moment.
A 5-1 home victory over Merstham saw Rebels remain unbeaten and secured their fourth win from five Ryman League Division 1 South games, thanks to a fine attacking display.
It was the second consecutive home match that Worthing had crashed home five goals, making them the league’s top scorers and McBride has said there is a real feel-good factor around the club.
Before Worthing’s clash at Folkestone last night (Wednesday), the front man was the division’s joint second top scorer, along with Bognor’s Jason Prior, with five goals, two behind Dulwich’s Frankie Sawyer.
McBride was delighted with his goals on Saturday, but also praised the service he is receiving as the spearhead of the Rebels attack.
He said: “I am over the moon, and I seem to be getting better with each game at the moment – which I’m pleased about. I am really happy with how things are going, and the most important thing is that the team is playing well.
“I’m getting a lot of service from everyone which makes my job easier. Jamie (Brotherton) will get balls into the box all day long.
“We are all buzzing at the moment. It’s been such a great start and long may it continue.”
And, with strike partner Steve Davies and midfielder Mike Huckett, who netted 19 goals last season, yet to feature, Rebels’ attacking options still have more promise.
Rebels were pegged back in the opening stages by a pressing Merstham side, who probably did not deserve to go into the break 3-1 down.
John Lansdale put Worthing ahead on six minutes from the penalty spot, after the impressive Jamie Brotherton had his legs taken away in the area.
McBride latched onto a cross 16 minutes later and turned well to dispatch it past Merstham keeper David Wilkinson.
And, although the visitors grabbed a lifeline when Glen Woodburn put a slight downer on an impressive defensive display by turning a low cross into his own net, Brotherton raced down the right wing and squared for McBride to turn home soon afterwards and restore the two-goal lead right on half-time.
After the break, Rebels started to dominate and Brotherton got his rewards for a fine performance on 64 minutes. Tom Manton put in an excellent tackle in the middle of the park to win the ball and slide in Brotherton, who drove into the area one-on-one with Wilkinson and dinked the ball over him.
McBride completed the rout on 75 minutes after a fine passing move down involving Darren Budd and Manton saw the latter cross for the striker, who finished with aplomb.
White said: “We got there in the end, but they were the best side we have played so far. In the first half, they did to us what we have been doing to teams, really pressing us.
“When we were second-best, though, we showed that we could dig in and scrap a bit, which is something we haven’t had to do before today.
“I thought Ryan and Tom Manton were the best two players on the pitch. Tom’s pressing and closing down in midfield was great and Ryan’s work-rate was unbelievable – he was a different class and really deserved his goals.”
WORTHING: Mansfield; Piper, Hurley, Woodburn, Franks; Brotherton, Lansdale, Budd, Manton, Lawley; McBride. Subs: Gedling (Franks 60), Pulling (Brotherton 75), Murphy (Budd 78), T.Timms, Metcalf. Att: 220.
l Worthing travel to Division 1 North side Chatham in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday.
White said: “They have had a decent start and only lost once this season. They’ve recruited a few new players since last year.”
If the game is drawn, the replay will take place on Tuesday.