Meeney throws down gauntlet following Trophy exit

Worthing Football Club joint-manager Jon Meeney. Picture: Stephen Goodger
Worthing Football Club joint-manager Jon Meeney. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Jon Meeney has set his Worthing Football Club squad a target following their FA Trophy exit last night.

Goals in each half from Craig McAllister and Dean Beckwith - then an effort in extra-time from Adam May - helped National League Sutton United to a 3-2 second-round replay victory at Gander Green Lane.

Worthing once again showed their qualities as a squad, coming from two goals down to force extra-time courtesy of Sam Rents - and a Lloyd Dawes penalty - all in the final 20 minutes.

Having proven themselves against two-divisions higher opposition in the Trophy on three separate occasions this season, Worthing joint manager Meeney revealed he set his players a target after they bowed out of this year's competition.

He said: "We want to keep driving on as a club. It's such a great place to be for mine and Gary Elphick's first project and, with this group of players, it just makes it extra special. I've put a little challenge out there to them now, a gauntlet.

"The players know what it is - it will remain in-house - now we're going to really drive ourselves on to try to activate it."

After a first half effort from Corey Heath was disallowed and they clawed themselves back level after falling two goals behind, Meeney felt defeat was harsh on his team.

He said: "I'm gutted the boys didn't get the result I felt they deserved as the game grew. Having said that, our journey in this year's FA Trophy, the games we've competed in, is something we can take great pride from. It's not often I'm lost for words, but I'm so proud that they are my group of players.

"There is a real character and bond within this group, something like I've not experienced before. We changed our system in the second half but the boys were still comfortable and caused Sutton a great deal of problems."

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