Worthing United Football Club exited the Sussex Senior Cup 2-0 at Hassocks in the second round on Saturday but manager Nigel Geary was encouraged by his side’s display.
With a number of players unavailable – including all of the Worthing players dual-signed with Mavericks, Geary called upon several of the club’s younger players.
United’s under-21 and under-18 teams are both flying high in their respective divisions this season and Geary said: “I really struggled to get a team out as the game was booked in quite late and I had 15 players from the first-team squad unavailable.
“We went there with just 13 players and everyone who came in did really well.
“The game was 50-50 as to who would win for much of it and I was really encouraged with the performances of our young players.
“Alfie Sparks came in from our under-18 team and Joel Davidson, who has made a couple of appearances before, also came in and they were both brilliant.
“Craig Nagle made his second start of the season and Joe Patching came off the bench and it’s good to get these players minutes.
“It’s really encouraging for the club as our under-21 and under-18 teams are both doing well at the moment and it’s good to see the players step up into the first team and do themselves proud.”
Hassocks shaded the first half but United began the second half well and Callum Wells sliced a shot wide from close range at the back post.
The hosts went ahead on 65 minutes when keeper Matt Evans’ clearance was intercepted and Michael Death fired home.
Mavericks pressed for a equaliser and Frank Foster was denied by a brilliant save, while Chamal Fenelon and Mike Waller delivered teasing crosses which no one could get on the end of.
Hassocks sealed their win in the final minute through Nathan Miles.
Worthing United will look to end a three-game losing run in the Southern Combination League Premier Division when they entertain Peacehaven on Saturday.
Geary said: “We’ve dropped down the league a bit with the three successive defeats, so this is a game we need to take some points from.”
UNITED: Evans; Callaghan, Davidson, Stideford, Sparks, Nagle, Waller, Foster, Gritt, Wells, Fenelon. Subs: Patching (Gritt 65), J.Elliott, Trigwell.
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