Signs of improvement despite defeat - Elphick
Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick took plenty of positives despite seeing his side crash to a fifth successive Ryman League Premier Division defeat on Saturday.
Dipo Akinyemi got the only goal a minute after the break as play-off hopefuls Dulwich took all three points.
The defeat continued what has been a testing run for Worthing, leaving them without a point from the previous 15 available.
After admitting focus had turned to next season following a loss at the hands of Staines Town last time out, Worthing fielded a youthful line-up against Dulwich.
Defenders Marshall Ball and Charlie Williamson, both 17, were handed their first league starts, while Reece Hallard was give a maiden full-start two days shy of his 18th birthday.
After the defeat to Dulwich, Elphick pinpointed those three in what he felt was an improved performance.
He said: “We started with three 17-year-olds on Saturday and they came in and done a great job for us.
“It’s a great position for both myself and Jon Meeney (Worthing joint manager) to be in being able to call on these young players. We’ve not been let down by any when we’ve called upon them and it was a similar story on Saturday.
“There were signs over the course of 90 minutes of improvement, which is something we can take forward into the remaining matches.”
Worthing made a bright start with Jack Cook diverting just wide following a Kane Wills free-kick after ten minutes.
Corey Heath was on hand to clear off-the-line five minutes later following a fierce first-time shot from Ibra Sekajja.
Nathan Green headed just over, while Gavin Tomlin shot just wide as Dulwich caused more of a threat.
The only goal of the game came less than a minute after the restart.
Ashley Carew’s a cross was flicked on by Tomlin into Akinyemi’s path and he rifled past Kieran Thorp.
Thorp saved from Sekajja, then Williamson did well to block a Tomlin shot as Dulwich piled on the pressure.
Worthing so nearly had a last-gasp leveller when Brannon O’Neill’s free-kick was headed across goal by Louis Clark but Kane Wills somehow blazed over.
Since Omar Bugiel’s departure last month, Worthing have won just once in six games.
Elphick believes finding a replacement for him will be the key to turning things around moving into next season.
He added: “We’ve seen how big of a miss Omar is for us in the games since he’s gone. He wasn’t just about what he done on-the-ball but off it aswell.
“We’re on the look-out for new recruits all the time, it’s just a case of finding the right fit for both the squad, to fit in with the club budget and make an immediate impact.”
WORTHING: Thorp; Heath, Cook, Ball; Williamson, Hallard, Wills, Edwards, Sparks; Clark, Dawes. Subs: O’Neill (Edwards, 64), Waller (Hallard, 80), Boiling, Belward.
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