The Mavericks won their first game of the calendar year 2020 on a bright Spring afternoon at Middle Road. A good turnout witnessed a highly entertaining and incident packed match which was settled by a single goal five minutes from the end.
Both teams created chances in the first half. Elliot Bennett might have given the Mavericks the lead in the 26th minute when his cross from the left almost sailed into the net, whilst at the other end Aaron Relf saved well from Shoreham's Morgan Vale.
The best chance of the half fell to Mavericks' Tshikume Phadagi shortly before the break, but he scuffed his shot and at half-time the score stood at 0-0.
In the 50th minute, the Mavericks were awarded a penalty, but Dillon Nagle's spot-kick was saved by Shoreham goalkeeper Charlie Moylan, diving to his right. In truth, it wasn't the best penalty Dillon has ever taken, but it was nevertheless a good save from the Shoreham custodian.
With the game finely poised, both sides continued to create goal-scoring opportunites. Dan Hills dragged his shot across the face of goal in the 55th minute, and Shoreham's Vale forced another excellent save from Relf five minutes later.
The game was settled in the 85th minute when the Mavericks were awarded their second penalty of the afternoon. Yet again Moylan saved, this time from Thurgar, but Dillon Nagle was on hand to scramble the loose ball into the net.
Thereafter, Shoreham lost their composure and ended the game with only eight men on the pitch. Two were sin-binned for dissent and Chris Geer was red-carded for a diabolical challenge. It really was a shocker – a right Joe Cocker – for which Tuck was rightfully punished.
The victory had been a long time coming, but when the final whistle sounded the Mavericks' players and supporters celebrated in style.
On a grey but thankfully dry afternoon at Lyons Way, the Mavericks succumbed 2-1 to a stubborn Midhurst & Easebourne side, who only just deserved to win this robust encounter.
The home side played well enough, especially in the second half with Craig Nagle in particular using his strength and determination down the right flank. He provided several excellent crosses into the danger area, but sadly the Mavericks lacked the killer instinct in front of goal, and chance after chance went begging.
Nagle it was who opened the scoring in the 9th minute, with a deflected shot at the far end which totally deceived Josh Bird in the visitors' goal.
It was a good start for the Mavericks, but unfortunately a crucial second goal eluded them, and in the 23rd minute Midhurst drew level when James Liddiard poked the ball home from close range.
The Mavericks fell 2-1 behind in the 38th minute, Danny Lane slotting the ball into Aaron Relf's net. There was a hint of hand-ball in the build up but the goal stood.
The second half began with a minor fracas near the half-way line which left Kieran Deacon lying on the turf in some discomfort. After a short spell of pushing and shoving, normal service was resumed and the game continued.
There were no further goals, although Tshikume Phadaji might have hit an equalizer in the 65th minute following a superb cross from the right from Craig Nagle. TK however, blazed the ball over the crossbar and the opportunity was lost.
The visitors frustrated the United players with blatant time-wasting tactics towards the end of the match. Bird in particular, took an age taking goal kicks, whilst others were clearly feigning injury.
The Mavericks remained without a victory in 2020, but with winnable games on the horizon an upturn in fortunes is surely imminent.
Worthing United FC used this match to demonstrate its ongoing support for Football v Homophobia, and their month of action which was February; the postponed fixture vs. Oakwood was the original dedicated match and therefore this match was used to support the campaign instead.
The Mavericks were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Storrington in a match that will not live long in the memory. The first half in particular, it has to be said, was about as exciting as one of those award-winning cartoons from Poland.
To put things into perspective however, the Mavericks were without their first choice midfield players. Missing through injury and unavailability were Dillon and Craig Nagle, Kieran Deacon and Stephen Jackson. In addition, Storrington were not a pushover, and certainly had their moments during the match.
Th sun was shining brightly at 3pm, although there was a stiff breeze, and after a week of drizzling rain the pitch was heavy. The conditions were not ideal for entertaining football, but this should not mask the fact that both sides squandered chance after chance. Indeed, the final score could easily have been 5-5.
Mavericks' Charlie Millard forced two good saves from Storrington goalkeeper Gary Elliott in the opening 20 minutes, whilst at the other end Hayden Hunter blazed a shot over Aaron Relf's crossbar when it looked easier to score.
The visitors took the lead in the 44th minute when the unmarked Ross Fraser fired home into the top corner, and the same player caused the Mavericks further problems after the interval. His excellent strike midway through the second half was tipped over the bar by Relf, and a few minutes later he rattled the woodwork with a fierce strike from 20 yards.
Mavericks' captain for the day, Billy White, seemed to relish the extra responsibility, and in the 79th minute he salvaged a point with a fine goal at the far end.
Nevertheless, this was two points lost rather than one point gained. Without a match for two weeks, it was hoped that the injuries to key players would have had time to heal. A much needed victory away at Roffey would be most welcome.
Photo courtesy of Ian Apps.
On a grey afternoon at Arundel's picturesque ground, the Mavericks were beaten by a better side, and the 3-1 score-line was a fair reflection of the match, even though two of Arundel's goals came from the penalty spot.
This was a hard-fought encounter played on a pudding of a pitch. In the 1st minute Mavericks' striker Dan Hills was tackled in the penalty area, leaving a divot the size of a dustbin lid.
Arundel were on the back foot in the 20th minute when a superb cross from Dillon Nagle on the right found Kieran Deacon, who fired just over the crossbar.
But in the 25th minute Arundel took the lead when Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relf pulled down Liam Brady inside his area. Ben Gray made no mistake from the spot. Arundel increased their lead in the 40th minute following a fluent passing move down the left flank. Owen Benfell, unmarked at the far post, converted the opportunity with the easiest of touches, and at the interval Arundel led 2-0.
Both teams created chances after the interval. In the 68th minute the home side might have increased their lead further, but desperate defending and a goal-line clearance kept the score-line down.
Three minutes later the Mavericks pulled a goal back when, in the 71st minute, Deacon's speculative effort from 20 yards sailed into the net past the outstreched fingers of Rui Buckland in the Arundel goal.
Any hopes of a comeback however, were dashed in the 75th minute. The Mavericks conceded their second penalty of the afternoon, and once again Gray drove the ball home from the spot.
After a run of tough matches against top opposition, Worthing United will now look to steady the ship and return to winning ways against teams in the lower reaches of the table.
This was the proverbial game of two halves, Worthing United having the better of the first half, whilst Selsey dominated the second. In the end, a draw was a fair result.
The home side welcomed “prodigal son” Craig Nagle back into the fold following his sojourn with Littlehampton Town, and he stepped straight into the action alongside his brother, captan Dillon Nagle.
The game began in glorious winter sunshine in perfect playing conditions, although as the sun went down after the interval the temperature dropped considerably.
It was clear from the outset that the Mavericks were enjoying the lion's share of possession, and causing the Selsey defence no end of headaches. After a few near misses, they took the lead in the 25th minute when the referee awarded a penalty kick at the far end. It was a stonewall penalty and Stephen Jackson blasted the ball home giving Selsey goalkeeper Syd Davies no chance.
The Mavericks continued to create scoring chances. In the 37th minute Dillon Nagle set up Josh Brown whose fine strike was saved by Davies, and Brown saw his follow-up attempt cleared on the goal-line.
It was a different story in the second half however, as the visitors surged forward at every opportunity and pegged the Mavericks back into their own half of the field for long periods at a time. Scott Rafferty forced a good save from Aaron Relf in the Mavericks' goal on 52 minutes, and although Zane Richardson, Michael Coupar and Billy White had been defending resolutely, an equalizing goal seemed inevitable.
It duly arrived in the 84th minute, courtesy of an untidy Ryan Morey strike. And that was that. The Mavericks had halted a two-game losing streak, but the overall feeling at the end of 90 minutes was one of disappointment that victory had not been attained. Perhaps that is a measure of how far the team has come since mid October.
For the second week running the Mavericks were beaten 2-1 at home, and for the second week running defeat left a bitter taste in the mouth. Seven days earlier the Mavericks were left deflated when Wick had won the match with a controversial penalty, and against Littlehampton the visitors scored the winning goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, again in controversial circumstances.
Littlehampton arrived at Lyons Way boasting a proud record, having won 12 games and drawn one, and sitting at the top of the table. But at the end of this match, they surely knew they had been in a close contest, and were somewhat fortunate to have returned home with all three points.
The Mavericks matched them toe-to-toe for the whole match, indeed there was little to differentiate between the two sides. Both teams created chances in the first half. Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relf had another excellent game, saving brilliantly from both George Gaskin and Jordan Layton early in the piece. At the other end Zane Richardson and Stephen Jackson came close with efforts that just cleared the crossbar.
Littlehampton took the lead in the 45th minute when Scott Packer headed home, and at the interval the visitors led 1-0.
The Mavericks equalized in the 61st minute however, Elliott Bennett netting from close range, and as the minutes ticked by it seemed the match was heading for a 1-1 draw. Even when the Mavericks had been reduced to ten men after Callum Wells had been red-carded for a clumsy challenge, a draw still seemed likely.
But on 90+5 minutes Littlehampton won the match when Dion Jarvis scrambled the ball into the net. There was a hint of offside, but following a brief consultation with the linesman, the referee awarded the goal.
It was heartbreaking for the Mavericks who had contributed so much to this match, and yet had still come away with nothing. On this evidence however, they can hold their heads high and fear no one for the rest of the season.
The Mavericks' unbeaten run came to an end on their final match of 2019 on an overcast afternoon at Lyons Way.
It has to be said at the outset, that the referee's dreadful decision to award the visitors a penalty late in the match was a cruel blow, and one which ultimately sealed victory for Wick FC. Up until then, the match had provided excellent entertainment for both sets of supporters, and a draw might have seemed a fairer result.
Wick took an early lead in the 8th minute when Alex Kew followed up after Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relf had saved an initial effort with his feet. The away side continued to press forward, and three minutes later Brad Hunt fired just wide of the post.
Wick almost doubled their lead soon afterwards, but an outstanding tackle by Tom Butler denied them the opportunity.
The Mavericks suffered a blow midway through the first half when the influential Kieran Deacon was forced to leave the field on health grounds, to be replaced by Giuseppe Lammi.
The match ebbed and flowed however, and in the 36th minute captain Dillon Nagle hit the equalizer following a superb forward run from Stephen Jackson. Nagle's strike was spectacular, leaving Wick goalkeeper Keelan Belcher stranded, and at the interval the score stood at 1-1.
The second half began with a goalmouth scramble of epic proportions, as somehow the Wick defence managed to deny the Mavericks the lead. Three goal-bound efforts were blocked at close range, and unbelievably the score remained level.
The decisive penalty was awarded in the 74th minute, and Scott Murfin blasted the ball into the net via the underside of the crossbar to give Wick a 2-1 victory. It may have seemed unjust, but “you win some, you lose some”, and sometimes you simply have have to accept the consequences.
The Mavericks' rich vein of form continued with another victory, this time in a six-goal thriller against Hailsham Town. After midweek rain, the pitch was heavy but perfectly playable, and the two teams provided excellent entertainment in the run-up to Christmas.
The visitors,resplendent in their yellow and green strip, took the lead in the 20th minute when Harry Hughes' cross-cum-shot from the right sailed into the net past the beleaguered Aaron Relf in the Mavericks' goal. Hughes might tell you he meant it, but he certainly did not, indeed the goal was a complete freak.
Nevertheless, they all count, and at this point in the game the Mavericks found themselves a goal adrift.
Undeterred, the Mavericks began to create goal scoring opportunities. In the 28th minute Elliot Bennett cut in from the left, rounded the Hailsham goalkeeper Wester Young, and fired just over the bar. Callum Thoms came even closer when his decent effort rattled the bar shortly after.
The equalizer duly arrived in the 44th minute, Josh Brown slotting home after Dillon Nagle's shot had only been parried by Young.
Hailsham re-took the lead in the 48th minute however, when a disastrous back-pass allowed Connor Townsend to take full advantage and pass the ball into the net.
But the Mavericks refused to lie down. In the 61st minute Bennett made the score 2-2 with a superbly taken goal, and ten minutes later Thoms' magnificent free kick from the edge of the penalty area flew into the top corner of the net.
Victory was assured when “super-sub” Callum Wells burst through the visitors' defence and skillfully planted the ball into the net to complete a deserved 4-2 victory.
After taking just two points from their opening nine matches, the Mavericks have reponded with 22 points from a possible 24, to lift themselves to 7th place in the league.
The Mavericks' unbeaten run continued with a 6-0 drubbing of Southwick on a chilly afternoon at Old Barn Way.
As usual, this was an excellent team performance from Danny Woods' young players who played with assurance, commitment, fluidity, and above all, a belief that victory would be theirs.
There were several contenders for man-of-the-match. Callum Wells came on as a second half substitute and scored a hat-trick, captain Dillon Nagle led by example and calmly slotted home two penalties, and goalkeeper Aaron Relf who pulled off a string of miraculous saves to keep his second successive clean sheet.
In truth however, this was a game of two halves. The opening exchanges were about even, but the home side slowly began to dominate. Relf was called into action twice to deny Jordan Stallibrass and Dan Bateman, and a series of timely blocks by the defenders kept the score at 0-0.
The Mavericks weathered the storm, and took the lead in the 42nd minute, Nagle scoring from the penalty spot after Tshikume Phadagi had been upended inside the area.
By contrast, the second half was an avalanche as the Mavericks pressed forward and netted five more times. Southwick became frustrated, and several of their players lost their composure and their discipline. A fracas on the half-way line did not help their cause. Indeed, at one stage they were reduced to nine men after two of their players, including goalkeeper Steve Allfrey, were sin-binned.
Nagle scored his second penalty in the 63rd minute, and two minutes later Elliott Bennett raced clear to make the score 3-0.
Callum Wells then took control and scored three goals towards the end of the match. In the 74th minute he tapped the ball home from a corner, and in the 90th minute he drove the ball into the net from distance. He completed the scoring deep into stoppage time to elevate the Mavericks to 7th place in the league.
The Mavericks extended their winning run to five matches with an exciting 3-1 victory at Mile Oak. Going into the match, the home side had only lost once in the league, so to come away with maximum points was a fantastic achievement for Danny Wood's young side.
This was a fine team performance, with every member of the side playing to his full potential. To single out any one player would be unfair. The defence held out remarkably well with block after block, whilst in midfield and attack the Mavericks were unerring. Indeed, the final goal tally could easily have been more.
It was Mile Oak who took the lead however. In the 16th minute, Jack Marriott cut in from the left and drilled a low shot across the face of goal into Aaron Relf's net.
But the Mavericks were not fazed by this early setback. Tshikume Phadaji's decent strike in the 25th minute was well saved by Mile Oak goalkeeper Aaron Stenning, and before half-time the scores were level when, in the 37th minute, Zane Richardson headed home from a Stephen Jackson corner.
The second half became increasingly stretched, as both sides pressed forward at every opportunity. But it was the Mavericks who looked most likely to score, and in the 73rd minute the goal duly arrived, albeit in the most fortuitous of circumstances. A dreadful defensive blunder allowed Dan Hills to pounce and plant the ball firmly into the net for a 2-1 lead.
And it was Hills who scored the Mavericks' third goal, stabbing the ball home at the far post in the 80th minute for another deserved victory.
After a superb 5-3 victory at Bexhill United on the previous Saturday, the Mavericks scraped home with a 1-0 victory over bottom club Billingshurst, to claim their fourth successive league win.
Perhaps it was the full moon that shone brightly over Lyons Way, or maybe it was a touch of “after the Lord Mayor's show”, but the expected goal fest did not materialise. The three points gained however, were priceless.
As one might have expected, the Mavericks applied relentless pressure on the visitors' goal in the first half, but were unable to penetrate a six-man defense who held out remarkably well, belying their awful goals against tally. As the half progressed a hint of frustration crept into the Mavericks' game plan as the chances went begging.
Fortunately, Billingshurst were creating virtually nothing at the other end. When the odd opportunity did present itself, the ball was usually ballooned not only over Aaron Relf's crossbar, but over the tall catch-netting as well, and into the road.
Billingshurst's stubborn resistance was finally breached in the 65th minute when Stephen Jackson fired home into the top corner from 25 yards. The relief around the ground was palpable, for anything other than victory would have been a travesty.
A few minutes later Dillon Nagle thought he had doubled the lead, but his close range effort was ruled offside.
An insurance goal would have put the game to bed, but at the final whistle the Mavericks had secured their fourth consecutive league win, a statistic to be proud of.
For the second time in four days, the Mavericks entertained AFC Varndeanians in a cup match. On the Saturday the visitors had emerged as 4-3 winners in the Division 1 Cup, a match played in horrendous conditions of driving rain.
By Tuesday night however, the monsoon had moved on and this match was played under clear skies, even if there was an autumnal chill in the air.
As was the case on Saturday, this was another excellent game of football between two sides who were committed to play attacking football. The pace of the game was breathtaking for the entire 90 minutes, with wave after wave of fluent passing moves to entertain the disappointingly sparse crowd.
The Varndeanians had the first real chance of the game when, in the 13th minute, Scott Packer missed an open goal from close range. At the other end Dillon Nagle was embarking on some blistering runs down the right flank, culminating with some superb crosses into the danger area.
An unsavoury incident occurred midway through the first half when Ollie Stevenson stamped on the prostrate Nagle as he lay on the ground. It was as blatant as it was premeditated, yet incredulously the offender escaped with only a yellow card.
The only goal arrived in the 60th minute when Packer drilled the ball into the net past Aaron Relf in the Mavericks' goal.
Mavericks' substitute Morgan Kennett almost hit an equalizer in the 80th minute, but his fierce strike from the left flew just over the crossbar. A few minutes later Relf saved bravely at the feet of AFC Varndeanians' Lawrence Edwards to keep the score at 1-0.
The Mavericks may have lost these two cup matches, but both were by a slender one-goal margin, and the management team and players can be justifiably proud of the performances.
On an atrocious afternoon of grey skies and driving rain, the two teams played some fantastic football to entertain the supporters. Indeed, the players were given an ovation at the final whistle.
AFC Varndeanins took an early lead in the 3rd minute in highly controversial circumstances when Dan Barden bundled the ball into the net. Mavericks' goalkeeper Aaron Relf appeared to be clattered in the build-up, but the goal stood. Barden scored again in the 20th minute, latching on to a through-ball and calmly slotting home past the advancing Relf.
In the 37th minute it was 3-0 when Oliver Stevenson scored with an acrobatic strike and the game seemed as good as over.
The Mavericks' best chance of the half came in the 37th minute. Stephen Jackson and Dan Hills linked up perfectly, but Hills' strike was well saved by Tom Bradford in the Varndeanians' goal.
Dillon Nagle reduced the deficit in the 50th minute from close range, and Nagle became provider following a dazzling run down the right flank culminating with a pin-point cross to Hills who made no mistake.
Suddenly the Mavericks were back in the game, but unfortunately they fell 4-2 behind in the 62nd minute when Luke Maloney fired home for the visitors.
The Mavericks never gave up however, and battled away to the very end. Callum Thoms blasted home a penalty kick in the 83rd minute to reduce the arrears to 4-3, but an elusive fourth goal needed to force extra-time did not materialize, and the Mavericks were out of the SCFL Division One cup.
The evening started with bad news as Assistant Manager, Adrian Hendy, was forced to return home as soon as having arrived with a family emergency. And with Luke Carter taking training for the Under 23's back in Worthing, Chairman Bill Clifford was called up to deputise and assist Manager Danny Wood.
Danny, in turn was forced into a number of changes, due to player availability, further to the team's first League win and clean sheet at home to Shoreham on Saturday. This was unfortunate but, as it turned out, by no means a bad thing.
The Mavericks came out of the traps fast and were a goal up within just 2 minutes. Josh Brown, now four in four, followed in well to smash home a rebound off the home side's keeper. Indeed, the visitors did not let up, creating a number of good chances before Dan Hills nodded home at the far post from captain Dillon Nagle's well delivered free kick on 26 minutes.
Oakwood then seemed to get themselves together and the last ten or so minutes of the half was all them. The Mavericks defended well though and managed to see the pressure out until half time.
The second half was a more even affair. Although, despite hitting the woodwork twice, the game wasn't clinched until the 87th minute following excellent work from Man of the Match, Ted Hartley, who unselfishly squared to Tshikume Phadagi for him to knock in the third.
Arguably our best performance of the season to date and great to know that we now have a squad with such great strength in depth. Well done to Danny and all the players.
The Mavericks deservedly won their first league game of the season against a disappointing Shoreham outfit, who were only average at best. Nevertheless, as poor as Shoreham were, Worthing United played well, and the longer the game went on the more likely a home victory became.
After a deluge of rain in midweek, Saturday dawned bright and clear and the match was never in doubt. Missing from the Mavericks' line-up were Joe Patching (injured) and Kieran Deacon (suspended). It was also Joji Phillips' last game for the club before returning to London to continue his studies. His presence on the pitch and his prolific goal-scoring will be missed, and we wish him all the best for the future.
The first half of this match was, it has to be said, nothing much to write home about, with goal-scoring opportunities at a premium. Indeed the only chance fell to Phillips, whose fine strike on goal was well saved by Shoreham goalkeeper Ricardo Alves.
The second half was more entertaining. In the 55th minute a fierce 30-yard strike from Shoreham's Dean Stewart-Hunter flew just over Aaron Relf’s crossbar, whilst at the other end Phillips' tremendous goal-bound effort was matched by an acrobatic save by Alves.
As the half wore on, the Mavericks grew in confidence. Tom Butler might have scored in the 72nd minute but blazed his shot over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Josh Brown eventually won the match for the home side with two late goals of quality. Phillips crossed from the left and Brown expertly headed home to put the Mavericks 1-0 ahead, and his measured strike a few minutes later put the game to bed.
The three points were in the bag, and the Mavericks had recorded their first win & clean sheet of the campaign.