WORTHING Football Club faced some familiar faces in the Three Bridges line-up at Woodside Road on Tuesday evening, but familiarity did not breed much joy as the hosts suffered a 2-0 home defeat.
These two sides were at the opposite end of the experience spectrum with a youthful Rebels line-up dominating early exchanges. Omar Bugiel managed to roll his marker and send in a cross from the right but too high for any of his team-mates to profit after just six minutes.
The right wing almost proved fruitful again on 14 minutes as a nice inter-change between Liam Kimber and skipper Steve Metcalf saw the latter fire the ball across goal, only for the referee to see an infringement in the box before a red shirt could capitalise.
Three Bridges came alive in the 19th minute after Harvey Sparks’ stray pass was cut out by Tony Garrod and his cross volleyed goalwards by Ben Godfrey but Rebels’ defence held firm. Corey Heath then mis-timed a header to allow Hakeem Adelakun in on goal but the robust striker’s shot was a wild one.
Rebels’ first goal-bound shot arrived courtesy of Metcalf’s left-footed curler in the 28th minute which was inadvertently blocked by Brannon O’Neill. Three minutes later, a needless free kick allowed Bridges to work a training ground routine and although Lee Carney’s touch seemed unintended the ball was poked over Rikki Banks by centre-half Callum Donaghy to give the visitors the lead.
Rebels had chances to equalise before the break but Will Hendon lacked the desire to meet Casey Johnson’s cross and Bugiel saw his long-range effort parried then beaten away by Bridges’ stopper Kieron Thorp; more importantly Bugiel picked up a booking after a clash with Donaghy.
The second half was a non-event for the hosts. Heath was caught ball watching to allow Garrod the opportunity to bring the ball down on his chest and place it into the bottom left corner and double Bridges’ lead just nine minutes in.
Metcalf had Rebels’ best chance to pull a goal back in the 66th minute as he collected substitute Matt Axell’s cross 12 yards out, only to be thwarted by an excellent tackle from Carney.
Bugiel’s bad tempered evening resulted in an inevitable second yellow card, following yet another scuffle with Donaghy with 14 minutes remaining.
Worthing joint manager Jon Meeney commented: “We knew what to expect from them and we dominated the first half sticking to our principles although we didn’t boss the final third.
“If you fail to capitalise when you’re on top then that gives the opposition confidence. We’re still assembling a squad and the season’s only five games old so we’re learning.”
Rebels host Walton & Hersham in the FA Cup on Saturday, before they travel to Peacehaven in the league on Monday.
WORTHING: Banks; Metcalf, Hurley, Heath, Sparks; Johnson, O’Neill, Kimber, Hendon, Dawes; Bugiel. Subs: Pope, Axell (Johnson, Kimber 56), Overton (Metcalf 75), Morey, Buckland.
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