WORTHING Football Club under-18 boss Ian Hart was proud of his players despite seeing them exit the FA Youth Cup last night.
Mitchell Curry bagged a brace while Lee Hetherington netted as Middlesbrough dumped Rebels young guns out in the third round in front of a bumper crowd of 1,154 at Woodside Road.
It was always going to be a tough task for Hart’s side coming up against England’s under-18 reigning champions and that proved the case.
Worthing did match Boro for long periods, though, but in the end their clinical eye in front of goal was the difference.
Rebels under-18 boss felt his side could take a huge amount of pride from this year’s run and their performance against tough opposition.
He said: “This was a game that the players will not just log this in the football memory back but the life bank aswell.
“We had nearly 1,200 people here and I think we played really well in patches.
“They scored early on but after that we had a few chances to get back level.
“Then at 2-0 the next goal is key and I honestly thought we were going to get that and make it 2-1.
“I mean what you have to got to remember Middlesbrough are professionals and train everyday.
“So for us to perform the way we did was fantastic to see.”
Boro were ahead after just three minutes as Hetherington was left unmarked from a throw before firing into the top corner.
Back came Worthing, though, and on ten minutes Ben Pope sent Mike Waller racing through but be could only toe poke straight at Tom Dawson.
That miss proved costly as Boro went two goals up on 31 minutes.
Alex Pattinson went racing down the left and his cut back was tapped home by Curry from close range.
James McKernan beat two defenders and crashed a shot just wide as Worthing looked to pull a goal back.
But Rebels had Buckland to thank for ensuring they went in just two goals down.
First, he got down well to thwart Hethertington, then he pulled off a fine diving stop to deny Marcus Tavernier.
Rebels made a good start to the second and almost made it 2-1 on 57 minutes.
Mike Waller’s cross looked to be heading towards an unmarked Ben Pope but Boro’ keeper Dawson did well to intercept.
The tie was all but ended with 26 minutes still to play.
A fine solo run from Curry saw him finish with a curling strike into the top corner to make it three.
Pattinson saw an effort flash across the face of goal before Curry blazed over late on as it ended 3-0 and Rebels memorable run was all over.
WORTHING: Buckland; Punter, Cowan, H.Watson, Webber; Waller, T.Watson, Edwards, McKernan; Hards, Pope. Subs: Symons (T.Watson), Stallibrass (McKernan), Bromage (Punter), Johnson, Goldson.