Worthing up to seventh after ‘grinding out’ win over Merstham
Adam Hinshelwood was pleased his Worthing side ‘ground out a win’ after they overcame Merstham 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Ollie Pearce got the final touch in a goalmouth scramble to open the scoring before the hosts replied instantly through Omar Folkes.
Jesse Starkey restored Worthing’s lead midway through the second-half before Lloyd Dawes slotted in a third to round-off victory in atrocious conditions.
Worthing manager Hinshelwood felt his side have improved on their chance-taking. He said: “It was a good result. We didn’t play brilliant, and it was a game which could have gone either way.
"Although we created the better chances. It was one of those games where if you don’t take chances then you concede a goal on the counter attack or against the run of play.
“It was more of a ground out 3-1 win in the end so I’m pleased that we stuck at it.”
The result lifts Worthing up to seventh and Hinshelwood believes squad rotation will be key heading into the winter months.
He said: “We’ve got a squad capable of doing that. Games like Tuesday do take a lot out of you and next week, we’re starting a run of three tough away games, so we’re going to have to utilise the squad over the next few weeks.”
The visitors spurned a flurry of chances with Ricky Aguiar having a low volley blocked and Pearce glancing a header wide in the opening 15 minutes.
Excellent footwork from Reece Myles-Meekums opened up some space before the winger flashed in a cross which was diverted wide.
Matte Pierson pulled off a fantastic save to deny Ross Edwards in the 21st minute. Edwards hit a sweet strike on the half volley but the Merstham stopper sprawled to turn the ball round the post.
But the Mackerel Men were deservedly in front after the resulting corner ended in pinball in the box before Pearce squeezed an effort over the line.
Worthing were in front for all of two minutes when Folkes equalised for the home side and Merstham came close to finding a second but Roco Rees made a fine double save before half-time.
It was a slow start to the second half but the Moatsiders missed a chance to take the lead when Rees parried a well-struck free-kick into the path of a Merstham striker but the following rebound trickled wide.
Worthing punished the home side, pulling in front themselves, ten minutes later with Starkey dinking a ball over the ‘keeper to regain the lead.
And the Reds made certain of the result when Dawes made the most of a three-on-one attack, sliding the ball past Pierson four minutes from time.
Worthing host one-place higher East Thurrock United this Saturday (October 5) and Hinshelwood demands more improvements. He added: “We’ll analyse Tuesday’s game, try and make sure we improve on our performance, and play with a bit more tempo.
“We know we’re going to have to be at the top of our game to get anything from it and we’ll definitely have to improve on how we performed Tuesday night.”
Worthing: Rees, Colbran, Pashley, Barker, Edwards (Stevens 61’), Young, Meekums, Aguiar (Jones 78’), Kealy (Dawes 61’), Pearce, Starkey. Unused: Doughty, Ayoola.