Signs of improvement as Worthing head to Hayes

Brannon ONeill celebrates netting in his sides Alan Turvey Trophy victory over division-lower Three Bridges on Tuesday. Picture: Marcus Hoare

Brannon ONeill celebrates netting in his sides Alan Turvey Trophy victory over division-lower Three Bridges on Tuesday. Picture: Marcus Hoare

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Worthing Football Club will be looking to make it back-to-back cup wins when they travel to Hayes & Yeading in the FA Cup on Saturday.

A hat-trick from Brannon O’Neill and a double from Lloyd Dawes helped Worthing to a 5-0 Alan Turvey Trophy success over division-lower Three Bridges at Woodside Road on Tuesday evening.

The victory was the perfect warm-up for Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round clash at Southern League Premier Division team Hayes and Yeading.

Following a tricky recent spell, Worthing joint boss Jon Meeney felt he saw slight improvements in his side’s League Cup win and he wants to see that trend continue at Hayes.

He said: “We have got to make sure that we are best prepared for the test we face on Saturday.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and train this evening, I can’t think about opposition, we’ll look at the areas we can manage and exploit. We’ve got to make sure that we take ownership and make sure that we are the best we can be with and without the ball.”

There is £4,500 prize money for the winners of Saturday’s game but Meeney said: “My investment is on the pitch. I’m a football man, we have got to get it right on the football pitch.

“In the past couple of games we haven’t done that. The bonus for the club will be the investment of the finance, the biggest things I’m looking for are winning and gaining confidence.”

O’Neill netted twice in the first half, while Dawes slotted home on 44 minutes as Worthing took a 3-0 lead into the interval against Three Bridges.

Midfield man O’Neill completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot nine minutes from time before Dawes bagged his second a minute later to help Worthing book a second-round home date with Dorking Wanderers.

It was a much-changed Worthing line-up, with six players making way from the 4-1 home league defeat at the hands of Wingate & Finchley on Saturday.

Included in the starting line-up were Ross Edwards, Luke Brodie and Henry Watson, all aged 18 or under.

Meeney believes Worthing need to keep working hard in the coming weeks.

He added: “The main objective for us was a clean sheet because we can’t keep conceding the number of goals that we have done, so it’s a step in the right direction.

“I thought all the young players involved were excellent, myself Gary Elphick and Matt Piper will always look to give chances.

“If these guys are serving their duty well in the youth team and expressing themselves, showing a good attitude and application, then chances will come for them in the first team.”

If Saturday’s game is drawn, the replay will be at Woodside Road on Tuesday – otherwise, Worthing have a scheduled league game at home to Merstham.

WORTHING: Fagan; Hendon, Heath, Watson, Metcalf; Axell, Edwards; Dawes, O’Neill, Brodie; Stanislaus. Subs: Wills (Axell), Newhouse (Brodie), Hallard (Edwards), Punter, Banks.

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