Fit-again quintet give Adam Hinshelwood options ahead of Worthing's derby at rivals Bognor

Adam Hinshelwood is optimistic he will have Worthing’s fit-again quintet at his disposal for the club’s huge Bostik League Premier Division derby clash away to rivals Bognor.

Alfie Young made a return after six months out when he came off the bench at Wingate & Finchley and started the midweek friendly with Selsey. Picture: Stephen Goodger
Alfie Young made a return after six months out when he came off the bench at Wingate & Finchley and started the midweek friendly with Selsey. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Alfie Young, David Ajiboye and Joel Colbran all returned, featuring from the bench in the league win at Wingate & Finchley on Saturday, while the trio also started the midweek friendly against Selsey at Woodside Road.

But they were not the only three back in action as Worthing beat the Blues 4-0, with goalkeeper Lucas Covolan in action for the first time since October and former Brighton youngster Danny Barker also playing from the outset.

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And with all five coming through the friendly unscathed, Hinshelwood now has the option of throwing them in against big rivals Rocks.

But team selection could prove a problem for the Worthing boss.

The club’s comeback win at Wingate made it five matches without defeat, moving them up to fourth in the table.

Now Hinshelwood has to ponder whether to change a team on a fine recent run or bring recovering absentees back into the fold.

He said: “It was exactly what those boys needed – a run-out and a bit of game time (against Selsey).

“It was the first start and more than an hour on the pitch for a lot of those players.

“It ticked a lot of boxes and it was exactly what we wanted to use the game for.

“We’re not expecting all of the players coming back to be straight up to pace straight away.

“We want to keep the whole team fully fit and pushing for places.

“Even in these friendly games, you’re looking to see who’s stepping up to the plate and are ready to play and get good minutes.”

Worthing, who moved above Bognor in the table last weekend, have a score to settle with their arch rivals.

The Rocks were 2-0 winners at Woodside Road earlier this season, while their last visit to Nyewood Lane ended in a 5-0 defeat.

But Hinshelwood does not believe current form will come into the equation on the day, as Bognor head into the game on the back of a 4-0 home defeat.

“We’ve got to be wary of them (Bognor) coming out of the blocks all guns blazing and we’ve got to be prepared to match them from the beginning,” Hinshelwood said.

“We’ve got to be the ones asserting ourselves on the game. At the same time we’re aware of the firepower they possess. They’ve got players like Jimmy Muitt and the lads on loan from Portsmouth so they’ve got firepower in their side.

“We’ve got to be switched on from the outset to get anything from the game.”

Brazilian goalkeeper Covolan could be in line for a first competitive start since October after breaking his arm.

The former Whitehawk stopper completed 80 minutes in the friendly win over Selsey.

But with Albanian-born goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou still at the club, Hinshelwood admits he has a decision to make in the coming weeks.

He said: “We’ll have to monitor Lucas and see how he felt.

“I don’t think we’ve got the capacity to keep hold of both Kleton (Perntreou) and Lucas, unfortunately.

“Lucas came back and did some good things, he got a good work out. The more game time he gets is going to continue to help him in his recovery.”

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