Broadbridge Heath assistant manager Steve Whiting has bemoaned their worst-ever injury and absentee list as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Worthing United.
The Bears have been disrupted by long-term injuries to several key players and their cause was not helped for Saturday’s Premier Division clash with the loss of midfielders Scott Weller (work), Dan Sandell and Shaun Findlay (suspended).
Whiting said: “I’ve never known a time when we’ve had so many players out, we had three players aged 18 or under in the squad today, it’s great experience for them but we could do with a few more senior players around to help them through the game.
“We should have a few back next week and possibly a new signing ahead of our trip to Wick but the way our luck is at the moment we’ll probably lose one or two others.”
Leading scorer Jake Holmes did return from a four-week lay-off with hamstring problems and the striker made his presence felt immediately by scoring in the opening minute after Ollie Moore had charged down the United’s keeper’s clearance.
The visitors equalised with their first purposeful attack on seven minutes when a good move down the left flank ended with the ball being cut back from the goal-line into the path of Owen Callaghan and he picked his spot into the bottom corner.
Callaghan continued to look the most dangerous player for the visitor’s and had a shot blocked on the line.
In a subdued second half, the balance of play swung in United’s favour in the 75th minute when Tim Martin was shown a straight red card by the referee for a late challenge. Minutes later United substitute Paul Elliott rose above everyone to power a header past Chester from a corner for the winner.
Heath: M.Chester, Clark, Copestake (Humphries 70), S.Chester, Balfour, Maxwell, Robinson, Sultan, Holmes, Moore, Martin.