Rebels draw at home to Whitehawk

WORTHING Football Club manager Chris White was immensely proud of his players after a strong all-round team performance on Tuesday evening in their 0-0 draw with Whitehawk.

Rebels will count themselves unlucky not to have taken all three points from the Ryman League Division 1 South derby, in which many had written them off before a ball had been kicked.

But a superb performance across the park, where they matched Hawks for most of the game, saw White singing his men’s praises after the match.

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He said: “I’m very proud of them, everyone played their part tonight in a match where a lot of people expected us to get beaten.

“I think it was Mr Croydon, who referred to them as a train last week, as they have been steaming through teams at the moment and I think tonight we pulled that train back into the station.

“I thought we were the better side, especially in the second half, where we took the game to them.

“Terry (Dodd) was very good and our two centre halves were outstanding. I think their centre forwards have scored 12 in two games and they didn’t get a look in tonight.”

Hawks’ Alan Mansfield, Luke Denton and Jamie Brotherton, who helped Rebels reach the play-offs last season, all returned to their old stomping ground but without reward.

Hawks went closest early on as Paul Armstrong’s long-range free kick rattled the crossbar.

Rebels’ John Lansdale got a vital block on Jerahl Hughes’ shot after he was put through, before Joe Gatting had a tame effort saved.

But it was Rebels who should have been ahead after 12 minutes. Mike Huckett’s effort was acrobatically punched wide by Mansfield, before Dodd met the corner at the front post but his effort hit the bar and was cleared off the line.

In first-half injury-time, Matt Geard went down after he looked to have been tripped in the box, but as Rebels protested, Whitehawk went forward and Ben Godfrey blasted over.

Both Callum Saunders and Dodd went close with half-chances after the break in a dominant spell from Rebels.

Hawks struggled to get forward, and when they did were easily dealt with by the Worthing back four.

Substitute Chamal Fenelon had the best chance to win it for Rebels with 10 minutes left. A glorious ball that was begging to be put away flew across the goal from Tom Lawley, but it was just out of the striker’s reach.

Last Wednesday, Rebels won 3-1 away to Eastboune Town with goals from Saunders, Huckett and Josh Biggs.

WORTHING v Whitehawk: Barton; Lansdale, Beda, Timms, Metcalf; Saunders, Gedling, Huckett, Lawley; Dodd, Geard. Subs: Subs: Fenelon (Geard 70), Manton (Saunders 78), Townsend, Pulling, McBride.

v Eastbourne Town: Hunter; Lansdale, Beda, Timms, Metcalf; Saunders, Huckett, Manton, Lawley; Dodd, Geard. Subs: Pulling, White, Biggs (all used), Townsend, Peake.