WORTHING Football Club manager Chris White blasted a “shocking” display as Rebels were sunk by Ryman League new boys on Tuesday evening.
A crazy two minutes before half-time, after an end-to-end half, saw Bridges net twice in the closing stages to lead 4-2 at the break. Despite Chris O’Flaherty pulling a goal back in a second period that Rebels dominated, an equaliser just proved a bridge too far.
The result leaves Worthing pointless after two games and boss Chris White said: “It was a shocking first half, basically we just didn’t get going and looked very vulnerable.
“They didn’t play much football, just long hopeful balls and they had a bit of pace. Everyone was blaming our back four but I blame the front three as much for not closing down and allowing them to play those balls.
“As much as we gave it a go in the second half, there was too much to do.”
The visitors arrived just 35 minutes before kick-off but showed no signs of a sluggish start as they took the lead within three minutes.
Steve Metcalf’s horrible back pass flew out for a corner, and from the resulting kick, unmarked Joel O’Hara, at the back post, drilled across the goalmouth for Tim Rivers to turn home.
Rebels stuttered into life and looked sharp down the left as O’Flaherty linked well with Matt Reece.
Superb stuff between the pair led to the equaliser on 19 minutes. O’Flaherty whipped a made-to-measure ball to the back post for Brotherton, whose volley was parried by Simon Lehkyj and Huckett was on hand to poke home.
Bridges restored their lead nine minutes later when an inswinging corner was cleared off the line by O’Flaherty, but it dropped to Marcus Elliott, who squeezed his shot home.
On 36 minutes, Huckett drove to the byline and his cut-back ran all the way to O’Flaherty, who jinked into the area, turned Siao Blackwood inside out and lofted a cross to the far post for Huckett to drill home a fantastic leveller.
Blackwood then played a quick one-two over the back four and squared for Touray to put Bridges 3-2 ahead on 44 minutes. Then, a minute later, a long ball set the pacy Touray away on the left and he cut the ball back for Rivers, who sent a curling effort past Alan Mansfield.
Rebels pulled one back straight away after the break as O’Flaherty cut into the area beat two men and drilled home from a tight angle. It was pretty much all Worthing from then on but they failed to find an equaliser.
Rebels host Rye in the FA Cup preliminary round on Saturday. If that game is drawn, Rebels’ home league match with Maidstone on Monday (3pm) will be postponed and the replay will take place, again at Woodside Road, on Tuesday (7.45pm).