New look Rebels up and running as White experiments

Ryan McBride netted one of Rebels' six goals at East Preston
Ryan McBride netted one of Rebels' six goals at East Preston

WORTHING Football Club manager Chris White has seen room for improvement in his side after their friendlies got underway this week when Rebels experimented with a new formation and triallists.

The Woodside Road boss is pleased the way his side has taken shape during pre-season training, having added a number of big-name signings to his side since last term.

White put out two mixed sides in each half of their first friendly at East Preston on Tuesday evening, with new players combining with last season’s side and a number of triallists.

Having been disappointed with the first-half showing, in a 4-4-2 formation, White switched things to 4-3-3 after the break and immediately saw an improvement as Worthing came from 4-3 down at half-time to win 6-4.

He said: “We played 4-3-3 in the second half and it’s a system I’ll be looking at more. We played 4-5-1 with Terry (Dodd) up front last season, which worked for us.

“But 4-3-3 gave the full-backs a chance to get wider and get up the pitch more and it worked well. Defensively, in the second half we were a lot better, but there are things to work on, as always at this stage of the season.”

“We showed we still have goals in us without Terry. And we showed we can be adaptable, as you have to be in football these days, and we’ll try different things throughout the season.

“The first half we were very rusty and defended poorly, much like last season, in truth, but we changed things around and were much better after the break.”

New signings Ryan McBride, Jamie Brotherton, Steve Davies, Matt Piper, Matt Hurley and Alan Mansfield were on show on Tuesday, and they joined last season’s Ryan and Tony Timms, Charlie Farmer, Tom Lawley, Matt Dodd, John Lansdale, Ryan Peake, Steve Metcalf, Mark Pulling, Shaun Charles and Billy Franks.

White also gave game time to a number of triallists, including Graham Martin, Spencer Slaughter and Adam Hunt, who finished last season with County League sides Shoreham, Hassocks and Ringmer respectively.

Rebels’ goals came from Martin, Farmer, McBride, a Brotherton penalty, Metcalf and Slaughter.

On individual performances, White said: “Shaun Charles did very well and if he keeps on like that, he’ll play his way into the team.

“Billy was with us at the end of last season but struggled for fitness through injuries, he is a very good player but we need to get him fit.

“Graham, Spencer and Adam are all with us at the moment and we’ll give them a few more games.

“Adam and Spencer did well. Spencer scored a good goal and was very impressive.”

Jamie Groves, Mike Huckett and Glen Woodburn were all due to feature against former boss Simon Colbran’s Redhill side at Woodside Road on Wednesday, before Lewes visit on Saturday, and Leatherhead on Tuesday.