Excitement and a few nerves: Worthing FC's big day finally arrives

Adam Hinshelwood prepared to send Worthing into National League action for the first time and declared: This is what we’ve worked towards for so long.

The manager is urging players, staff and fans to enjoy the start of the National South season to the full – while staying realistic about the size of the challenge in front of them.

A crowd of more than 1,000 is expected at Woodside Road on Saturday when Dover provide Worthing’s first opposition at the highest level at which they have played.

They warmed up for the big day in great style by beating a Wycombe Wanderers team 5-1 in their final friendly on Tuesday night – just 10 days after putting five past a Swindon Town side.

Worthing celebrate a goal in their friendly win over a Wycombe Wanderers XI | Picture: Mike Gunn

Goals from Mo Jammeh, Ollie Pearce (2), Lewis White and new winger Nodirbek Bobomurodov saw off Wycombe. Last Friday Worthing faced what proved a tougher test when they made the trip to face old Isthmian League rivals Worthing and drew 1-1 – which Hinshelwood said was probably the closest they’d had to the type of game they’d face in their new league.

Hinshelwood is not one for getting carried away by pre-season results but is delighted at the way his players have taken on and beaten two visiting teams from full-time league clubs.

He said: “We look a threat. We've been playing well and scoring goals and the new players have settled in really well. But pre-season results in themselves don’t really mean anything.

"We’re looking forward to Saturday and the first league game. There’s excitement because finally we’re at the level we’ve been striving to reach for three years, but there’s nervousness too as we find out just how hard the league is.

"We’re going to have to be at our best in every game, no doubt about that. But we feel ready to take it on and know we will have great support behind us.”

Hinshelwood is happy with the strength and variety in his squad and said the club were working to move some younger prospects to other clubs on dual-registration terms, so they could continue to get first-team minutes while remaining available to Worthing.​​​​​​​