Worthing Football Club joint boss Gary Elphick says there will be no talk of the play-offs as he looks to keep the pressure off his young side.
Saturday’s 4-1 win at Grays Athletic moved Worthing to within five points points of the top five and increased their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions.
Lloyd Dawes moved on to 17 goals since rejoining Worthing in September with a hat-trick, while Kane Wills got the other goal in a comfortable away win.
Elphick was thrilled with his side’s performance and said: “I was delighted with the boys as it was a tough game but we kept our momentum going. I said to the players before the game that it was our biggest game of the season as Grays were bottom and had nothing to lose.
“But we again played well and are playing some of the best football since I’ve been at the club. I’m struggling not to get carried away myself but I make sure I don’t as it’s the fear of failure that drives me on.”
With 20 games to go, when asked if the play-offs was now a target, Elphick said: “With the position we are in, potentially we could creep in but it would be unfair for me to say it’s a target or anything like that.
“We’re not going to put any pressure on the team, they’ve just got to keep doing what they’re doing. It’s a very tough league but the players have been marvellous up until now.”
Lloyd Dawes gave Worthing the lead from the penalty spot, after a foul on Arron Hopkinson on 26 minutes at Grays.
The visitors, who created several chances in the first half, doubled their lead five minutes after half-time. Sam Rents’ free kick found Dawes, who headed past Grays keeper Amadou Tangara.
Kane Wills fired home the third on 66 minutes, before Grays got a goal back a minute from time through Kieran Bishop. There was still time for Dawes to complete his hat-trick in injury-time when he chipped Tangara after racing clear.
Worthing host Canvey Island in the league tonight (7.45pm).
WORTHING: Fagan; Hendon, Cook, Heath, Rents; Hopkinson, Edwards, Wills, Sparks; Dawes, Bugiel. Subs: Brodie (Bugiel 59), Lemon (Hopkinson 76), Hallard (Edwards 85), Boiling, Belward.
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