Disappointing derby day as Worthing are humbled by Bognor
Worthing boss Gary Elphick has work to in the build up to the new season after last season’s play-off winners came away from Woodside Road with a comfortable victory.
The Worthing/Bognor rivalry has always produced physical and cagey matches – last season’s 1-1 draw at Woodside Road especially – but the Mackerels’ second pre-season outing was much more one-sided than the last time the Rocks set foot on Worthing’s turf.
Within the first 10 minutes both sides had each had some big chances. Bognor’s Pat Suraci beat his man on the left before crossing it into the Worthing box, but Matt Boiling was there to clear it.
At the other end Kershaney Samuels almost played in fellow summer signing Omar Folkes after a mazy run, but the front man was inches away from latching onto the ball.
After multiple chances at both ends and plenty of work to do for both goalkeepers the deadlock was broken in the 17th minute by the visitors. Suraci found Jimmy Muitt out wide and his cross into the area eventually found Ollie Pearce who slotted past Jack Fagan.
Bognor kept the momentum and pressure up and soon enough Jimmy Wild double their lead in the 22nd minute, converting a straightforward finish following a cross from Muitt.
It got worse for the home side five minutes later and after a scramble in the Worthing box, Doug Tuck’s volley nestled into the corner to make it 3-0 before half an hour had past.
Worthing improved for the remainder of the first half, Dawes and Folkes in particular causing problems but despite a couple of half chances the score remained unchanged at the break.
After making nine changes during half time the second period started relatively quietly for Worthing, the central defensive partnership of Boiling and Antone Douglas doing well to fend off an onslaught of Bognor crosses early on.
Following a string of saves from Fagan to deny the Rocks’ attacks Bognor substitute Kieran Rowe killed off the game in the 78th minute with a looping effort into the top corner after a pass from Tommy Scott.
The later stages of the game were physical with crunching tackles and blocked shots aplenty, but apart from a stunning fingertip save from Fagan to deny Bognor’s Crane the goalkeepers were rarely troubled.
Elphick will now have a week to prepare the players their next pre-season fixture where he’ll hope for an improved showing against more National League opposition in the form of Whitehawk.
Worthing: Fagan, Williamson (Clark 45’), Rents (Wills 45’), Edwards (Douglas 45’), Boiling, Young (Brodie 45’), Dawes (Nwachukwu 45’), Hallard (McDermott 45’), Foulkes (Fraser 45’), Samuels (Pope 45’), Newhouse (Schneider 45’)
Bognor Regis Town: Stanton, Whyte (Lee 45’), Crane, Tuck (Block 59’), Charman (Heath 45’), Field (El-Abd 50), Muitt, Beck (Davies 45’), Wild, Suraci (Robinson 66’), Pearce (Rowe 59’).
Goals: Pearce 17’, Wild 22’, Tuck 27’, Rowe 78’