Releasing Metcalf was Elphick's hardest decision as manager
Worthing Football Club joint boss Gary Elphick said the decision to release captain Steve Metcalf last week was his hardest as a manager.
Metcalf was released prior to Worthing’s 6-0 defeat at National League South St Albans City in the FA Cup third qualifying round on Saturday.
Elphick said: “We had to release Steve owing to finances and it was my worst moment as a manager.
“He was a player on non-contract terms and with the emergence of Henry Watson and Matt Boiling coming in on Saturday, we have got cover in that position.
“I didn’t want to make the decision and it was my hardest as a manager but you’ve always got to put the club first. The club has run in the red and struggled before but it’s not like that any more under George Dowell.
“Steve was a great captain for us and I can’t speak highly enough of him, on and off the pitch. We wish him all the best.”
Elphick admitted Saturday’s game at St Albans City was always going to be tough, before Corey Heath (illness) and Watson (hamstring injury) had to pull out of the squad late on. Reis Stanislaus (injured), Zack Newton (unavailable) and Lloyd Dawes (cup-tied) were already missing for Worthing.
Two Sam Merson goals gave the hosts a 2-0 lead at half-time, before Shaun Lucien struck a second half hat-trick and Louie Theophanous was also on target after the break.
Elphick said: “We gave it a go but it was always going to be a tough game, even before Corey and Henry had to pull out. We gave 16-year-old Matt Boiling his debut and he was excellent but I’ll be honest, we’re not going to win many games against teams like that with the squad as stretched as it was.
“I just hope the fans stick with us. We’ve got a lot of young players coming through and it’s a difficult time for us at the moment. We’ve only managed to get our strongest side out in four games this season - the first three matches which we won and at Havant last week.
“We’ve now got three games coming up which we’ll look to get a good points return from but we know Merstham will be a tough game tomorrow.
“They’re scoring a lot of goals and we’re conceding a lot but hopefully we’ll have Jack Cook coming in and he’ll help steady the ship.
“Confidence is a wonderful thing and we just need a win to get us going again.”
Worthing entertain Merstham in the Ryman League Premier Division tomorrow evening, having slipped into the relegation zone on Saturday.
Heath and Omar Bugiel are both suspended but Dawes and Newton are available and Cook is set to feature after rejoining the club.
WORTHING: Banks; Boiling, Rents, Axell, Elphick, Edwards, Hendon, O’Neill, Bugiel, Wills, Sparks. Subs: Piper, Fagan, Brodie, Waller, Newhouse, Hallard.
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