Rebels make a swift exit from Trophy

Mike Huckett
Mike Huckett

WORTHING Football Club made a swift exit from the FA Trophy on Saturday leaving manager Chris White admitting his side are suffering with low confidence as well as mounting injury worries.

Injuries and unavailability ruled out five starters in their 4-1 defeat away at Heybridge Swifts, while Glen Woodburn and Matt Hurley both played through the pain barrier.

Rebels were without Paul Kennett, Matt Reece, Nick Sullivan and Nat Hubert on Saturday, while Mike Huckett also didn’t feature, having decided to take a break from football for a few weeks.

White is likely to be without Kennett for up to three weeks, while Alan Mansfield and Chris O’Flaherty both picked up knocks in the Trophy and face fitness tests for Saturday’s Ryman League clash away at Merstham.

Combine this with the loss of influential midfielder Huckett and the fact Tom Manton is still sidelined, White is facing a real headache in all departments at the moment.

Rebels will have Matt Piper returning to training this week, and White has praised the character of a number of his players being desperate to play when injured.

He said: “We need some points on the board quickly. We had the bank holiday weekend and thought we were up and running, but that proved a false dawn.

“Unfortunately, the scoreline Saturday looks like we got thumped and that wasn’t the case. We played really well at times especially in the second half, it just seems to be the way things are going at the moment and it’s very frustrating.

“The confidence of everyone is so fragile. We were talking after the game on Saturday and about the amount of clean sheets we kept last year and this season we’ve only kept one.

“The only player missing from that defence is one and that’s Matt Piper and, hopefully, he’ll be training this week.

“Woody and Matt (Hurley) both have injuries and shouldn’t have played Saturday, but wanted to get out there for the team, which shows people saying the team doesn’t want to play for me, isn’t the case.

“I believe in all the players and that is why they are all still here.”

On Huckett, White added: “Mike is having a little break. He has a young family and with working as well he is going to be unavailable for a few weeks.”

Bradley Lewis was out-jumped at the far post for the opener after 24 minutes on Saturday as Solomon Ofori nodded home.

Jamie Brotherton had a glorious chances to equalise but failed to take it, while the home side doubled their lead on 28 minutes as Ben Newton struck.

A fine move between O’Flaherty and Tom Lawley set up Brotherton to score a much-harder chance than his previous one. Newson struck again on 69 minutes for Swifts and Michael Cheek wrapped it up with a late penalty.

WORTHING: Mansfield; Lewis, Woodburn, Hurley, Metcalf; Lawley, Gedling, Kirkwood, O’Flaherty; Brotherton, Tipper. Subs: Daniel (O’Flaherty 60), Kessack, Sparks, Banasco-Zaragoza.