Being involved elsewhere this season has meant visits to Woodside Road and also writing for Worthing FC have rather gone by the wayside in the first half of the season, something I’m conscious of reviewing as 2019 approaches.
With a gap in the fixture list on Saturday caused by a late weather related postponement, I took the opportunity to get to the Bibby Financial Services Stadium for the first time this season to get my own look at Adam Hinshelwood’s side, almost exactly a year since my first conversation with Hinch and the first match preview to hit the website, ironic almost!
That day saw a 2-0 win over high-flying Tonbridge Angels and the start of the recovery for the Mackerel Men which saw safety achieved with 4 games to spare back in April. Despite being involved once again for the first few months of the season, other influences have dictated I can’t devote time to the Worthing cause currently, but I have promised George I will be back and that is something I will stick to.
The visitors to Woodside Road were Haringey Borough, yes the Haringey Borough who appeared on the BBC’s FA Cup 1st Round action in November and certainly didn’t disgrace themselves against Football League opposition. They arrived in Worthing on the back of seven straight league wins, certainly some momentum for the team from White Hart Lane in North London, just a goal kick or two away from the magnificent structure soon to house Tottenham Hotspur.
Borough are currently on the crest of a wave, promoted twice in the last three years from the Essex Senior League through the Bostik and now appear set to challenge for promotion again into the National League South. Worthing themselves sit nicely placed, well away from last seasons struggles and are just a point away from the play-offs but with anything from three to five games in hand on the clubs around them.
A game played in driving heavy rain for the course of the full ninety minutes, the warm up and half time as well, both sides were still intent on zipping the ball around on the wet 3G surface. Borough though looked the more likely to break the deadlock and that they did on 31 minutes, Joel Nouble with a neat finish inside the far post.
Reece Myles-Meekums, on loan from National League Bromley, saw a glorious chance saved by visiting keeper Valery Pajetat when the scores should have been levelled. Despite Worthing’s probing for an equaliser, it was Haringey who found the net again, Rakim Richards prodding home as defender after defender failed to clear the ball to send the points back to North London.
Worthing appeared to be missing a spark to create that extra chance at times, the injury list I’ve only seen bettered this season by National League Barnet at times. Despite sitting on a run of five losses in six games, the Mackerel Men are still well in the thick of the play off and promotion shake up in the Bostik Premier Division, so many games in hand over their rivals should see them get back to winning ways before too long.
With three local derbies in the next three games, starting with a trip to Whitehawk on Tuesday night, the El Classico of Sussex in the middle as Bognor Regis make the short journey to Woodside Road and a Boxing Day visit to Burgess Hill, the Rebels could well be sitting pretty come the turn of the year, certainly a far cry from twelve months ago!