IT was not so much a nightmare before Christmas, but a nightmare after Christmas for Worthing United Football Club as they suffered a 10-1 hammering at Littlehampton on Saturday.
United, who looked to have turned a corner in recent weeks, were subjected to a humiliating defeat at the hands of their high-flying hosts.
The score was 1-1 after 29 minutes as United’s Oli Jones netted his second goal for the club after good work by Darren Elliott saw him teed up by Steve Burt to level, after George Gaskin’s 17th-minute strike.
But Golds then crashed home four goals in 12 minutes to lead 5-1 at half-time as Dan Simmonds (two), Alex Kew and George Gaskin all notched.
The Mavericks kept things tight for 35 minutes in the second half, but a Mitchell Hand goal on 80 minutes saw the floodgates open again as the home side crashed in four more through David Gaskin, Sam Blundell (two) and Danny Hand.
United boss John Foley always expected a tough afternoon was in store as the visitors were missing around eight of their first-team squad, owing to suspensions and unavailability, but he admitted the scoreline was demoralising.
He said: “It was 1-1 at one point and then we absolutely capitulated. We had a young, under-strength side out, but I am not making excuses.
“We wanted to make it difficult for them to break us down, so played a 4-1-3-2- formation and it was working until my defensive midfielder Darren Elliott got injured. That killed us and four goals in 12 minutes put them 5-1 up at half-time. We said at the break they had an opportunity in the second half to put right everything they had done wrong and we managed to hold out for 30 minutes.
“I’ve got four suspended players back now and we always knew Littlehampton was going to be hard and we weren’t expecting a lot from it, but you just don’t want to lose 10-1, that’s demoralising.”