Superb Mavericks crowned champions

Worthing United celebrate being crowned champions
Worthing United celebrate being crowned champions
  • United clinch the Division 2 crown
  • The Mavericks secured the title with two games remaining
  • United sealed an immediate return to Division 1 after being relegated last year

WORTHING United Football Club clinched the County League Division 2 title on Saturday, with victory away to Saltdean.

The win was Mavericks’ 22nd in 26 league games this season and took them 15 points clear of second-placed Wick & Barnham United.

United boss Nigel Geary, who took the job back in July, spoke of his delight as his side sealed the title.

He said: “It’s a great feeling to know that we are league champions.

“I joined the club back in the summer and asked the players to play football in the right way.

“A lot of them have not been asked to play in this formation and the way that I had asked at the start of the season.

“They must take full credit, though, to perform the way they have done is great and we are now champions of this division.

“The most pleasing thing for me is that we have won this division playing in the right way.

“Some of the football that we have played this season has been exceptional and I’m sure that we will continue to play the same way next season.

“Over the Christmas period, it was looking like a two-horse race between ourselves and Wick but we managed to pull away.

“The hard work does not stop here, though. We are looking to win our final two league games, before the Division 2 Cup final against Wick.

“That will be a great occasion with the two best sides in the league coming together.

“To win the double in my first year in management would be a great achievement.”

United have bounced back into Division 1 at the first time of asking after they were relegated last season, with just eight points from their 38 league games.

United went into Saturday’s game knowing that three points would clinch the title and they started at a frantic pace.

Sam Blundell saw an effort clip the top of the crossbar on ten minutes, before Paul Elliott failed to finish after being put through on goal.

Blundell was then sent racing through on goal but he shot wide.

The Mavericks were awarded a penalty ten minutes before the interval after a Saltdean player handled in the area. Wayne Joseph fired the spot-kick home to put United 1-0 in front with his seventh goal of the season.

Elliott then doubled his side’s lead ten minutes after the break with his 13th goal of the campaign.

Adam Burton struck for Saltdean with four minutes left but United held on for all three points.

Mavericks do not have a game over the Easter weekend. Their next match is away to Steyning Town on April 11.

UNITED: Grimstone; Gilmour, Taylor, Stideford, Philpott; Joseph, MacNeill, Edwards, Schilt; Blundell, P.Elliott. Subs: O’Regan (Schilt), Nagle (P.Elliott), Heyward (Edwards), Evans, J.Elliott.