Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood has faith in his squad to weather the busy winter period after a strong team won against AFC Uckfield Town on Tuesday evening.
The manager only made two changes from Saturday's 3-2 win against Folkestone Invicta, with the favoured front four of David Ajiboye, Reece Meekums, Zack Newton, and Jesse Starkey starting and scoring four times between them, loanee Meekums netting twice.
Additional strikes from Sam Rents and Jazz Rance saw Worthing beat Uckfield 6-2 to progress to the Sussex Senior Cup third round.
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Despite the Reds remaining in three cup competitions as well as mounting a possible title challenge in the league, Hinshelwood thinks the squad can cope with a busy fixture list.
He said: “We've got an injury list of five as well as one suspended so we're missing a few for Saturday. It's going to be full-stretch in terms of the squad but I think we've got it. We've got some real talented youngsters waiting in the wings who could play sooner than expected.
“That's something I'm not afraid to do: I've played a 16 year-old as goalkeeper and I played Ben Pope when he was 16 the first time I was here. I'm not frightened if I think they're good enough to get the opportunity.
“We've got an education programme game on Thursday so if anyone plays in that and shines there could be a spot available on the bench. That's what we want here: a pathway. It's healthy competition in the squad because we've got some talented boys.”
Meekums and Newton are cup-tied ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy match against Chesham United, while defender Will Miles is suspended. All of that alongside the long injury list means Hinshelwood’s squad will be stretched.
The manager said: “I’m hopeful Callum Kealy will be back for that game so he'll add something to us and Ricky can always play forward there. You've got Jazz Rance who's come and done well and scored a goal so he looks a threat. We've got a good squad and it's down to those players when they get the opportunity to go and take it. “
Hinshelwood is planning to keep Worthing competitive in all competitions. The Reds are still in the Velocity Trophy, while in the Bostik league the Mackerel Men are five points off of the top with three games in hand on current leaders Tonbridge Angels. The Worthing boss isn’t prioritising any competition, though, despite his team’s favourable league position.
He said: “The remit from the chairman is to be competitive in every match this season. We took a heavy defeat at Ebbsfleet in the FA Cup but even in the first half-hour we were competitive and if we had took our chances it would've been a different game. That's what we're looking to continue doing: be competitive in every game we can no matter what side we put out. We've got enough quality within our ranks to be competitive in every competition.”
With Newton and Meekums loaned in recently, for the time being Hinshelwood isn’t expecting any comings-or-goings at Woodside Road. He seems happy to give youngsters a chance when needed - both Rance and Hayden Skerry impressed on Tuesday night and will be hoping to break into the manager’s squad on Saturday.