Blessed with a bumper crop of talent, the newly promoted hosts went for a more familiar line-up to start with. Alongside newby Robinson and the first two of three trialists on show, the returning Kane Wills and former Carshalton Athletic winger Lewis White also gave a near five hundred strong crowd the opportunity to see them in action from the off.
The Mid-Sussex visitors boasted the familiar talents of ex-Reds Brannon O’Neill, Curt Gayler, Tad Bromage and recent acquisition Kieron Pamment. All under the stewardship of another one-time Rebel Jamie Crellin.
A lively opening spell resulted in Bridges having their goalkeeper Mitch Bromage to thank, when he pulled off a pair of outstanding stops to prevent the home side asserting some early domination.
Only two minutes displayed on the metaphorical clock before tricky trialist number one – and Luke Robinson lookalike – teed-up Joe Rye for a bullet header that Bromage somehow tipped over the top, via a fine one-handed effort.
Shortly afterwards, the purple-clad custodian was at it again; watching his centre-half and Brother, Tad turned inside out by a man with a name so long, shirt sales would go through the roof but, the netminder made a second successive strong save to prevent the “unnamed” from getting his, erm, name on the scoresheet.
However, play soon switched to the other end as former home favourite Gayler was some way off target with a typical low, long-range blast following a left-wing corner that found him in space just outside the penalty area.
Pamment then reminded everyone of his threat by bombing down the left flank and delivering a tempting cross into the danger zone, only for youngster Connor Colcutt to side-foot it over the bar.
Despite coming close to breaking the deadlock though, it would be the National South new boys who got there first.
A terrific defensive block by Billy Irving in the box led to Luke II being denied a debut strike, after Ollie Pearce had slipped him in but that proved to be a mere appetiser to the main course.
This time, White left his marker floundering before picking out Pearce who did likewise to present Jake with a simple heeded chance that a man of his calibre wasn’t about to pass up.
Last season’s Isthmian League Golden Boot Winner came close to doubling his team’s advantage on the half-hour mark.
Guest right-back, trialist two, slid a slide-rule pass into Pearcy, although the angle ended up a little too tight for the man with the golden touch as a final finish eluded him by a matter of inches.
While the side netting may have come to TB’s rescue on that particular occasion, the services of Under-19 graduate Dan Ferreira were required to deflect trialist one’s latest goalbound attempt to relative safety, five minutes before the break. A sharp exchange of passes between the tricky tryout and White in and around the ‘d’ creating a promising probing in the beginning.
The second period was only a few minutes old when Perry was played in on the left-hand side of the eighteen yard area and calmly slotted across Bromage, to finally make it two.
Mass changes disrupted the flow of the match after the interval, as Worthing changed to their new-look man/boy band set-up, “Coxy and the Kids”. In fact, Dean was the only (known) non-teenager to emerge from the dressing rooms for the resumption, other than Luca Cocoracchio.
In fact, aside from one last trialist, the biggest talking point was that of sixteen year-old goalie Will Tillman, in the team for his maiden Senior appearance after impressing in the under 18’s.
Fittingly, the final say of the evening went to a fellow youth alumni, Perry, for it was his twenty-two yard rocket that rattled the apparatus when a half-cleared corner dropped nicely for him to hit a howitzer against the face of the crossbar, seven minutes from time.