Worthing soaring at halfway point - but boss remains cautious

Worthing manager Adam Hinshelwood hailed his players for reaching the campaign’s halfway point seven points clear at the top of the Isthmian premier.

Callum Kealy leaps to celebrate his equaliser at Bognor to the delight of the Worthing fans / Picture: Trevor Staff
Callum Kealy leaps to celebrate his equaliser at Bognor to the delight of the Worthing fans / Picture: Trevor Staff

But he warned his squad and the club’s fans: There’s a long way to go.

Hinshelwood’s side produced a commanding performance to beat fierce rivals and neighbours Bognor 3-1 at Nyewood Lane on Tuesday.

Callum Kealy’s equaliser and a second half Ollie Pearce double, one from a penalty he had won himself, earned the points – and the scoreline could have been greater by the end.

Amadou Tangara is beaten by Ollie Pearce's penalty / Picture: Lyn Phillips

It means that at the halfway stage of the 42-game league season, Worthing have 47 points – seven more than closest rivals Folkestone, who have a game in hand.

They are well on course to realise their dream of winning automatic promotion to the National South, but Hinshelwood insisted no-one could rest on their laurels and think the job was anywhere near done.

“We’re in a great position but it means nothing yet,” he said.

“The second half of the season is going to be relentless – I think we have eight games in January alone – and we need to maintain the standards we’ve reached in the first half of the season.

“Everyone is playing their part – the players who are starting games and those who are coming off the bench.

“We have a good-sized squad and will need every member of it over the coming months.”

Hinshelwood added versatile former Worthing youngster James Beresford to the squad last week, signing him from Eastbourne Borough, and was delighted by his debut showing at Bognor.

Another recent signing, Kealy, is also proving a valuable addition.

Hinshelwood said: “We thoroughly deserved the win at Bognor.

“It took us a while to get going but our equaliser gave us a bit of life. We started to find our rhythm at the end of the first half and never looked back. We were camped in their half.

“As we saw at home to Bognor, these derby games can easily go against you but I thought we were professional.”

Another Sussex derby awaits on New Year’s Day when mid-table Horsham visit Woodside Road, with another 1,000-plus crowd likely.

Worthing go to Carshalton on bank holiday Monday.