Despite giving it their best shot, the Mavericks were knocked out of the FA Vase by a Lancing side who were the dominant force on the day, and fully deserved their victory.
The match, which began in bright winter sunshine, was played at a fast pace throughout, and was an entertaining spectacle for the large crowd. The Mavericks, in their all red strip, matched Lancing in the opening phase, but as the half wore on Lancing began to take control, and took the lead in the 31st minute when Ebou Jallow slotted home.
Dan Hills almost responded a few minutes later for the Mavericks, but his two headers in quick succession were just off target.
The second half had barely started when the Mavericks found themselves 2-0 down. In the 49th minute, Josh Gould fired home with a tremendous strike into the top right hand corner of the net, which left goalkeeper Aaron Relf rooted to his goal line.
Lancing were now forcing the Mavericks back into their own half of the field for long periods at a time, and despite Relf making several fine saves, the result was beginning to look like a definite home win.
The Mavericks' best chance of the match fell to Joe Patching, but with only the home goalkeeper Mitch Bromage to beat, the usually reliable United player shot wide.
In the 80th minute Relf brought down Lancing's Lewis Finney and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Finney stepped up and scored to put Lancing 3-0 ahead, and that was that.
Nevertheless, the Mavericks can hold their heads high. An excellent run in the Vase had come to an end, but there can be no complaints on this result. It had been a good match played in a fine spirit, mostly devoid of nastiness and petty recriminations which can sometimes spoil local derbies.
The Mavericks moved up to fifth place in the table by virtue of this hard-fought 2-1 victory over Mile Oak, on a cold, frosty night at Lyons Way. Danny Wood's team now remain unbeaten in the league since the end of September, and have increasingly shown resolve and determination, and a will to win.
This match doubled up as the Matt & Jacob Cup, the annual match in which both clubs remember Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt who both lost their young lives in the Shoreham air disaster of 2015.
It was an entertaining, and at times feisty encounter which saw several minor skirmishes along the way, but at the end of 90 minutes both sets of players shook hands and correctly observed the presentation of the cup to Dillon and Craig Nagle.
The game started at a frenetic pace with end-to-end action. Jack Marriott almost opened the scoring in the 25th minute, but Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relph made a fine finger-tip save to deny him.
As the minutes ticked by, it was beginning to look as though the first half would remain goalless, but then – rather like London buses – two came along immediately.
In the 43rd minute the visitors took the lead when Ben Whitmore headed home from a corner, but a minute later James Thurgar scored his second goal in as many matches with a shot that appeared to strike both posts on its way into the net.
Mavericks' substitute Dillon Nagle won a penalty in the 60th minute when, following his excellent forward run, he was crudely brought down by Whitmore. The Mile Oak player was sent off, but Callum Thoms blasted the resultant spot-kick over the bar and into the catch-netting.
Another substitute, Dan Hills, won the game when the Mavericks were awarded another penalty at the death. Hills calmly slotted home to win the cup and three hard-earned points.
On a bitterly cold afternoon of driving rain, the Mavericks fought manfully to beat Edgware Town at the second attempt, in the FA Vase. The first encounter between the two sides had resulted in a 3-0 victory for Edgware, but it later transpired that they had fielded an ineligible player, and the FA decreed the game should be replayed.
This time, the tables were turned. At one stage the Mavericks led 3-0 (a complete mirror image of the first game), but a late goal for the visitors spoiled the symmetry.
The Mavericks were soon into their stride. James Thurgar headed home at the far end in the 10th minute, and a minute later Craig Nagle came close to doubling the lead.
At the other end Ibrahim Nagheeb saw his free-kick fly over Aaron Relf's crossbar, but it was the Mavericks who scored again in the 32nd minute, Joe Patching sliding in at the far post to squeeze the ball into the net.
It might have been 3-0 just before the break, but a Callum Thoms free-kick was inches off target. The home supporters didn't have to wait long for the third goal to arrive however. In the 62nd minute the excellent Billy White made it 3-0 with a free header and the afternoon's work was almost done.
Dillon Nagle's introduction as a second half substitute was inspired. He showed his true class, playing as if he'd never been away, and contributing to the Mavericks' dominance in the match.
Edgware's best player by far, the industrious Zach Uribarri wearing the No. 8 shirt, had caused problems for the home side, and in the 70th minute he reduced the deficit with a low free-kick. It was too little too late of course, and the Mavericks marched on to face Lancing in the next round.
After the enforced lay-off because of the Covid lockdown, it was great to be back and be part of a good football crowd enjoying a game of grass roots football!
The Mavericks were knocked out of the FA Vase 3-0 by Edgware Town, and in truth can have no complaints. The visitors played the better football on the day and were deserving winners. Nevertheless, the Worthing United management and players can be justifiably proud of their efforts in the Vase this season, achieving two fine wins over Greenways and Canterbury City respectively.
There were initial fears the game might not go ahead following torrential rain during the latter half of the week, but as if by magic the sun suddenly appeared at 2pm and the game kicked off almost on time, to the relief of the large crowd.
The Mavericks began well enough when, in the 8th minute, an Alfie Sparks' strike flew just over the bar, and the opening exchanges were about even.
Edgware however, took the lead in the 18th minute when Hadi Issa cut in from the right and fired home across the face of Aaron Relf's goal, and into the far corner of the net. Seven minutes later it was 2-0 when a Scott McGleish cross was met by Ethan Mooney who made no mistake with a clinical finish.
The excellent Callum Thoms almost pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time, but his dipping shot moved inches over the crossbar.
The Mavericks' kept plugging away, and with 20 minutes remaining Joe Patching forced a good save from Edgware keeper Frazer Siddall, but by now the game seemed to be slipping away.
In the 85th minute Edgware put the game to bed when substitute Eisa Azab's shot took a deflection, and wrong-footed Relf to complete the scoring.
As the supporters filed out of the ground, no one was sure when football would return, for this was the day when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a second lockdown due to Covid 19.
On a blustery afternoon of frequent showers, the depleted Mavericks squad put in a marvellous performance against Selsey, to return home with three well-earned points. Both goals were scored in the first half as the Mavericks exposed the home defense with alarming regularity. Indeed, it was the most positive 45 minutes the Mavericks have played all season.
There were early chances, first when James Thurgar's goal-bound shot was saved by the feet of Selsey goalkeeper Syd Davies, and then when a Craig Nagle effort flew just over the crossbar.
A goal seemed inevitable and it was no surprise when, in the 19th minute, Josh Brown gave the Mavericks the lead, driving the ball low and hard into the net after the Selsey defenders had failed to clear an initial attacking move.
It was 2-0 in the 32nd minute, Joe Patching crashing the ball gleefully into the roof of the net following some excellent play down the left flank by Tshikume Phadagi.
There were no further goals, although Alfie Sparks might have scored early in the second half after a fluent move involving Thurgar and Phadagi. Sparks' shot however, was wide of the mark.
The home side did manage to put the ball in the net in the 60th minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside. A few minutes later Aaron Relf saved bravely at the feet of Selsey's Ryan Morey to preserve the clean sheet. Those efforts apart, Selsey never looked like scoring and the Mavericks were good value for their victory.
At the conclusion of the match, Chairman Bill Clifford presented Billy White with the man-of-the-match award for his overall performance over the 90 minutes. He hardly put a foot wrong all afternoon, and the bottle (presumably containing alcohol) was gratefully received.
The Mavericks moved up to 7th place in the league by virtue of this hard-fought, and at times ill-tempered affair, at Arundel's picturesque Mill Road ground. There were some outstanding performances from the Mavericks' players and it may seem unfair to name names. However, Joe Patching won the man-of-the-match award with his overall performance, whilst goalkeeper Aaron Relf was as dependable as ever. Callum Thoms kept his nerve to score from the penalty spot, and James Thurgar showed controlled aggression of the highest order.
Indeed,Thurgar might have scored in the 3rd minute but saw his shot cleared off the goal-line. But the Mavericks were soon 1-0 ahead when Patching was upended in the penalty area. Thoms crashed the ball home from the spot.
Arundel's Steve Sedgley was the recipitent of a high boot from Tshikume Phadaji in the 15th minute, but despite cries from the home contingent for “TK” to be sent off, the referee deemed a yellow card was sufficient punishment. There was no malice in the incident, but Sedgley, with a nasty looking wound to his forehead, took no further part in the match.
In the 28th minute Arundel were on level terms, Jack Collins firing home at the far post after the Maverick's defence had been exposed down the left flank.
Early in the second half Mavericks' goalkeeper Relf saved twice from Ben Gray and Shane Brazil, whilst in the 53rd minute, the ever-dangerous Patching smashed the ball against the crossbar.
The Mavericks were reduced to ten men in the 70th minute, when, under severe provocation in front of the grandstand, Adam Carlier was dismissed for an act of petulence.
The ten men prevailed however, and Billy White hit the winning goal in the 82nd minute.
This truly was an epic encounter full of excitement, passion, and intensity, containing seven goals over the 90 minutes. There must be something about the FA Vase which brings out the best in the Mavericks' players. They have now scored nine goals in two matches in this season's competition, and in total those two matches have contained 16 goals!
Joe Patching, making his 100th appearance for the club, had a good game and could not have hoped for a better outcome to mark the occasion.
The Mavericks started well and certainly had the better of the opening 15 minutes with Dan Hills forcing a save from Canterbury goalkeeper Charlie Wealands after just four minutes.
But it was the visitors who scored first when, in the 17th minute, captain Danny Keyte drilled the ball low and hard from 25 yards into the corner of Mark Tughan's net. In the 24th minute it was 2-0, Adam Woollcott netting from the penalty spot. It might have been 3-0 on the stroke of half-time but Tughan's excellent save from Danny Walder kept the Mavericks in the game.
The best goal of the game arrived in the 48th minute when the irrepressible Dan Hills tore through the Canterbury midfield and planted the ball firmly in the net. There followed a lengthy stoppage after the visitors' Teddy Nelson suffered a horrible looking ankle injury and was stretchered from the pitch.
The Mavericks then took control, scoring twice in nine minutes to take a 3-2 lead. A Billy White header and a superb strike from fully 35 yards by Alfie Sparks seemed to have won the game, but the drama was not yet complete.
Late in the game Danny Rumbol got the final touch following a goalmouth scramble to tie the score at 3-3, and with a penalty shoot-out looming, the Mavericks were awarded a penalty for a hand-ball offence. The offender, Canterbury's Danny Walder, was sent off, and Callum Thoms converted the spot kick with aplomb.
The deluge of the previous two days had abated, and the Worthing United pitch was perfectly playable at 3pm to welcome Midhurst & Easebourne FC to Lyons Way. It was a thoroughly enjoyable match to watch between two good sides who provided attractive attacking football, and at the end of 90 minutes the Mavericks deserved their 2-0 win.
There was an early scare however when, in the 5th minute, Midhurst's Oli Page blazed the ball over the bar from close range when it looked easier to score. At the other end Mavericks' Josh Swietlik fired wide of the mark.
The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute when the ever-sharp Dan Hills was brought down in the penalty area and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Hills picked himself up, and crashed the ball into the bottom corner of the net from the resultant penalty kick.
The visitors applied considerable pressure in the opening phase of the second half, winning a succession of corners at the far end. The Mavericks defended well however with goalkeeper Aaron Relf making some fine saves to keep the score at 1-0.
The Mavericks weathered the storm but the game was far from won, and a second goal was desperately needed. It duly arrived in the 73rd minute. A fluent move down the left flank culminated with Joe Patching scoring with a tap-in at the far post. His goal prompted wild celebrations amongst the Mavericks players who realized the importance of the 2-0 lead.
In the 87th minute Albert Ellis cleared a goal-bound effort off the goal-line to preserve the clean sheet, and there was still time for Swietlik to be sent off for two yellow cards. It may have seemed harsh and Swietlik appeared mystified as he made his slow walk round the touchline.
The Mavericks will consider themselves desperately unlucky not to have come away from Shoreham with at least a point, if only on their second half performance when they laid siege to the home goal. It was one-way traffic after the interval, but an equalizing goal would not come, and at the final whistle the Mavericks' players sunk to their knees in exhaustion and disappointment.
A solitary goal seperated the two sides. A frantic scramble in the penalty area in the 16th minute saw Shoreham's John Lansdale bundle the ball into Aaron Relf's net. It was not a goal of aesthetic beauty, and hardly inspired a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus. But a goal is a goal, and it won Shoreham three priceless points.
However, the Mavericks battled hard all evening with an understrength side that saw captain Dillon Nagle and Dean Sherwood amongst 7 first team regulars missing because of injury. Early in the first half Callum Wells also limped off injured to be replaced by Joe Patching.
Patching had a superb match. The Shoreham defenders had no answer to his forays down the right flank, and time after time he provided crosses for his team-mates. The end product was missing though. In the 58th minute one such opportunity was wasted when Giusseppe Lammi fired wide of the mark, and two minutes later Adam Carlier's powerful strike flew just over the crossbar. Then, in the 72nd minute, the impressive Dan Hills created a chance for himself but his effort was easily saved by Ricado Alves in the Shoreham goal.
The home side were reduced to ten men near the end of the match when Harvey Green was sent off, but the Mavericks were unable to take advantage in the short time remaining.
Victories will almost certainly come, but goals need to be scored. After scoring five against Greenways in the FA Vase, the Mavericks have now played 180 minutes without one. But with a bit of luck and positive refereeing decisions, things will surely change.
The Mavericks suffered their second defeat of the season on a blustery afternoon on the East Sussex coast, going down 1-0 in an untidy affair. The game promised much, but an uneven pitch coupled with the strong wind was not condusive to attractive football, and the game will not live long in the memory.
The home side created most of the early chances but their finishing was poor. Chances were squandered, with the ball being driven wide of the mark or over the crossbar. By contrast, the Mavericks were creating little at the other end, and Ricardo Texeira in the Bexhill goal enjoyed a fairly comfortable first half.
Nevertheless, the Mavericks matched Bexhill and looked to be heading into the break on level terms. But in the 41st minute Bexhill scored. A Jamie Bunn corner from the right was powerfully headed home by Evan Archibald past Mavericks’ goalkeeper Charlie Moylan, and at half-time Bexhill led 1-0.
The second half ebbed and flowed with goal-scoring opportunites at a premium. Bexhill's Sammy Bunn might have scored twice in the 70th and 73rdminutes but his finishing was woeful, and there were no more goals.
Mavericks' manager Danny Wood sent on Joe Patching, Callum Wells and Elliott Bennett as substitutes during the latter stages, but when the final whistle sounded Bexhill had secured victory by the narrowest of margins.
It was disappointing, but in their defense the Mavericks' two defeats have both been away from home, both against teams who consider themselves favourites for the League title.
The Mavericks booked their passage into the second qualifying round of the FA Vase in the most dramatic fashion, in a match that contained nine goals, two penalties and two red cards. It was wonderful entertainment for the large crowd, the match becoming increasingly unpredictable the longer it went on, and the result was always in doubt until the final whistle.
Six goals were scored in the first half. Callum Thoms opened the scoring for the Mavericks in the 3rd minute from a corner, but the visitors hit back with three goals in a 13 minute spell. Aaron Kleman with a penalty, Simon Walton, and an own-goal from Mavericks' defender Oran Guile put Greenways 3-1 ahead and things were looking bleak for the home side.
The Mavericks however, were awarded a penalty in the 29th minute when Dillon Nagle was upended, and Thoms cooly slotted home his second goal of the afternoon from the resultant spot-kick. Then, in the 32nd minute, Callum Wells tied the score at 3-3, cleverly out-maneuvering Greenways' goalkeeper Josh Kleman.
The Mavericks re-took the lead in the 51st minute when Albert Ellis got the final touch following a free-kick by Oran Guile, and substitute Dan Hills fired home into the top corner in the 76th minute for a 5-3 lead.
Aaron Relf in the Mavericks' goal had pulled off some vital saves but there were some anxious moments towards the end when Greenways substitute Jack Jeffery pulled a goal back with a header. The Mavericks would not be denied however, and held out for the victory.
Red cards were handed out to Greenways' Adam Cooper in the second half, and to Adam Saxton for two yellows in a minor fracas after the match had finished.
But overall this was a great game of football and a fine advert for the FA Vase.
The Mavericks' winning start to the season came to an abrupt end at Littlehampton where the home side rattled in six goals, four of them scored by striker Joe Benn. It was always going to be difficult against Littlehampton who are still smarting from missing out on promotion last season. They were five points clear at the top of the table with games in hand when the season was curtailed, and they seem intent on proving a point this term.
The Mavericks got off to the worst possible start, falling 2-0 adrift in the opening two minutes. Harry Russell netted first, and Benn took advantage of some wayward defending before planting the ball firmly in the far corner.
Benn made it 3-0 in the 18th minute, and completed his hat-trick in the 34th minute, following up after Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relf could only parry a shot from George Gaskin.
The Mavericks were handed a glimmer of hope in the 40th minute when Dillon Nagle was hauled down in the penalty area. Callum Thoms took the resultant spot-kick but his effort was saved by James Binfield who palmed the ball away for a corner. It was going to be one of those nights.
To their credit the Mavericks kept plugging away, and the second half was much more evenly contested. Indeed, had you turned up at the start of the second half not knowing what the score was, you may have assumed the scores were level. Littlehampton had not taken their foot off the pedal. The Mavericks had simply clawed their way back.
But two late goals broke the Mavericks' resolve. In the 81st minute Benn scored his fourth goal of the night, lobbing the ball over Relf, and in the 88th minute former Maverick Jordan Layton completed the scoring from the penalty spot.
The Mavericks recorded their second straight victory and moved up to second place in the table, behind Littlehampton Town on goal difference only. It is early days of course, but the start to the season has been encouraging with the players showing great determination and a desire to win.
Seaford are a good side, but the Mavericks were not fazed in any way, showing them little or no respect for the entire 90 minutes, and deservedly winning the three points on offer.
Man-of-the-match was certainly Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relf, who pulled off a string of remarkable saves, particularly in the latter stages of the game when Seaford were threatening to equalize. His bravery and decision-making were paramount, and one of the main reasons why the Mavericks won the match.
It was a feisty encounter which saw the visitors reduced to ten men in the 35th minute when Ross Smith was sent off following two yellow cards.
Albert Ellis and Callum Thoms both came close to scoring for the Mavericks before Dan Hills fired home in the 44th minute following a fluent passing move down the right flank.
Dillon Nagle had a fine match, causing all sorts of problems for the Seaford defense who had no answer to his pace and movement on and off the ball. He might have scored in the 48th minute but dragged his shot across the face of goal.
The Seaford players began to lose their composure, and in the 60th minute goalkeeper Josh Measor was sent to the sin-bin for dissent. Manager Paul Wise was then shown a straight red card for getting involved from the touchline.
To their credit, Seaford finished the game well with wave after wave of attacking moves, and but for Relf's heroics might have snatched a late goal.
The Mavericks got off to a winning start to the 2020-21 season on a beautiful warm afternoon in late summer at Roffey's pleasant, tree-lined ground.
It was a good match which Worthing United, playing in all red, deserved to win, and the 1-0 scoreline accurately reflects the competitive nature of the contest.
The opening exchanges were about even with both defenses dictating proceedings, but as the first half wore on it was the Mavericks who tested Roffey goalkeeper Andy Barr on two occasions.
In the 21st minute Elliott Bennett's decent effort was saved by Barr, and in the 28th minute a Callum Thoms' free-kick from distance was also gathered by the home keeper.
At the other end, Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relf saved well from Roffey's David Lucas, and at the interval the score remained 0-0.
The only goal of the match came in the 55th minute, and was a superb goal worthy of winning any game. The Mavericks were well on top at this stage, and Dan Hills' strike from 20 yards flew into the top corner giving Barr no chance. It is obviously too early to nominate this as “goal-of-the-season” but come next April it may yet be a contender.
Roffey fought back however, but the Maverick's defense stood firm. In the 75th minute Callum Thoms headed a goal-bound effort off the line, and a shot from Mitchell Casselman grazed the outside of the post.
This was a fine team performance from the Mavericks with every player putting in a good shift, and manager Danny Wood can feel justifiably proud with his squad and the three points earned.
MOTM - Dan Hills