Worthing United Football Club moved out of the Southern Combination League Premier Division relegation places with a 1-0 victory at Loxwood on Saturday.
The win was Simon Funnell’s first as Mavericks boss and came after United had conceded six in defeats to both Pagham and Eastbourne Town in their previous two matches.
Adrian Todd got the only goal on 24 minutes, before United keeper Fraser Trigwell saved a penalty and also made another couple of excellent stops as they held on for all three points.
Funnell said: “Going to a good team and getting the three points is huge for us.
“We’ve had a tough run, with games against Broadbridge Heath, Newhaven, Pagham, Eastbourne Town and Loxwood.
“Against Broadbridge Heath and Newhaven, we could have got more but we took five points from the five games and possibly could have taken more.
“I was really pleased with Saturday and now we’ve got a big game on Boxing Day against Littlehampton.
“They have got some good players but we’ll be looking to get something from it and three points would be ideal as it would also move us three points further away from them. And, if results go for us, we could jump up another two or three places in the table.”
Mavericks took the lead after 24 minutes on Saturday when Alfie Gritt laid the ball off to Todd, who cut in from the right and fired home into the far corner.
Owen Callaghan, Todd, Pat Rose and Gritt had opportunities to score again for United, while United keeper Trigwell saved a Charlie Pitcher penalty just after the half-hour mark after a foul by Joe Smith.
Trigwell also made another couple of excellent stops and Funnell was pleased with the performance of his keeper. He said: “Fraser did well. He didn’t have the best game at Eastbourne and words were said but you’re always looking for a reaction from players and we got a reaction.
“Not only did he save a penalty, his kicking was good and he came out to punch the ball and claim crosses to take the pressure off the back four as well.
“His performance really pleased me on Saturday.”
On the team’s performance, Funnell said: “There were times when we had to soak up pressure but you expect that when you go to a good side like Loxwood.
“We created chances as well and if we’d been more clinical, we could have scored three or four goals but I was really pleased to get the three points.”
United’s match at home to Littlehampton on Boxing Day kicks off at 11am.
UNITED: Trigwell; Fuller, Ewing, Stideford, Bromage, Smith, Todd, Callaghan, Gritt, Elliott, Rose. Subs: Atkinson (Stideford 75), Moulton, D.Nagle.
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