Worthing will always be a proper club

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EVEN in the lowest points of recent years, including Rebels’ near extinction last Christmas, I always knew deep down the good times would return to Woodside Road.

Despite the inevitable blips, a positive aura has been in place since the arrival of new owner George Dowell. But Tuesday night’s FA Cup replay was proof that Worthing are still and, hopefully, will always be a proper football club.

Having equalised twice against visitors St Neots Town, the Rebels shaded extra time without scoring the all-important winner before classic edge-of-the-seat stuff with the penalty shoot out.

Having lost a number as a youth manager over the years, no word of a lie I was confident of victory before the we even took the first spot kick.

When Corey Heath converted the all important eight Worthing kick, the scenes of euphoria within the stadium made the recent very much a dim and distant memory.

It might be argued that circumstances at the club in recent years had resulted in the majority of the local footballing public falling out of love with the Rebels, leaving a very small but dedicated band of die-hards.

The footballing calendar now throws up a great opportunity for the Worthing footballing public and for the Rebels to rekindle a relationship.

With the international break meaning no Albion game, and England playing Friday night, Saturday’s FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round at home to AFC Hornchurch is hopefully a game which will see Tuesday’s attendance of 403 bettered.

Before that there’s more FA Cup action at Woodside tonight, Thursday, when the Rebels Youth Team take on Leatherhead in the FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round, 7.45pm kick off, the winners being rewarded with a home tie against either Molesley or Burgess Hill. So Brendan Rodgers almost predictably becomes another managerial casualty with his Anfield exit, and with it perhaps another worrying sign for our national game.

For all the Liverpool/Rodgers detractors, losing another UK manager in the top flight to be replaced by the inevitable foreign coach could ultimately be damaging.

After a mixed bag of results in the Champions League last week, with again questions being asked about why our clubs appearing to be going backwards in Europes Premier competition, a old mate of mine, Vernon Cook, posed a very interesting question in the pub on Saturday night before the rugby (which we will not mention again). Such a good question that I’m going to throw it open to the readers, because I know someone will have the definitive answer, with two tickets for the Albion vs Preston North End thrown in for the winning entry. Working on four English sides playing in Champions League qualifying, when was the last time from the 44 players in the respective starting line-ups, you could select a team of 11 British born players in their respective positions?

I would imagine it’s quite a few years ago, email your team by next Friday,October 16, to steve.bailey@worthingherald.co.uk.

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