Rebels into play-off places with Folkestone win

Chris O'Flaherty in action against Sittingbourne on Saturday       W43214H13
Chris O'Flaherty in action against Sittingbourne on Saturday W43214H13

WORTHING Football Club leapt into the Ryman South Division play-off places with a 2-1 home win over Folkestone last night.

Goals from Chris O’Flaherty and John Lansdale sealed Rebels’ fifth consecutive win at Woodside Road and sixth victory in their last eight league games.

The result propelled them up to fifth and into the play-off places for the first time this season - remarkably, just six points behind leaders Walton Casuals, who were humbled with a 3-1 reserve at Horsham last night.

Back-to-back wins in three days has put Worthing in good stead ahead of their first ‘international’ trip as they travel to Guernsey on Saturday.

Worthing joint manager Lee Brace said: “It was a great performance, probably our most complete this season as a side. All along we knew the group would take time to gel and the league table doesn’t lie.

“We have just started to find our way, but the next few weeks will be a big test for us. We have a big game Saturday against Guernsey and then Crawley Down come to us on Wednesday.

“I am really pleased, but we are not getting carried away at all.”

O’Flaherty fired Rebels ahead on 26 minutes with a fine free-kick which found the top left-hand corner for a deserved home lead at the break.

Folkestone switched from their 4-5-1 formation to 4-4-2 at half-time after making two substitutions, and that paid dividends within two minutes of the restart as a corner was headed back across goal and then into the net.

The visitors had a good 10-15 minutes spell after that and Jack Fagan made a couple of decent stops as the defence dug in.

But the home side soon took a hold back on the game, and, after some sustained pressure, Lansdale fired a lovely strike home from range to re-establish their lead.

O’Flaherty and Dan Turned caused numerous problems for Folkestone out wide and Rebels could have added plenty more goals as the game wore on.

Brace added: “It was difficult picking a man of the match last night, I couldn’t. I’d like to praise the back four, though. In fairness, last night was probably the best defensive performance of the season.”

For those not making the trip, Worthing’s match at Guernsey on Saturday will be shown live in the Rebels Tavern at Woodside Road. Kick-off is 1pm.

WORTHING: Fagan; O’Neil, Berry, Cooke, Lansdale; Turner, Gedling, Crellin, O’Flaherty, Peake, Knee. Subs: Hayward (Peake 58), Pamment, Pulling, (Knee, O’Flaherty 90), Daniel, Lehkyj.