ARUNDEL Football Club manager Brett Torode is feeling upbeat about the club’s future after guiding the side to safety in County League Division 1 this season.
Torode took over in October when Mullets were bottom of the table with just four points from 10 games.
Despite losing a two-goal lead in their 5-2 defeat at East Grinstead on Saturday (April 21), Torode is feeling positive about next season and said: “I took over in October and, two or three weeks later, I said to my assistant, Craig Stuart, that if we stayed up it would feel like we’d won the league.
“We’ve done what we were asked to do and have kept the club up, which we’re pleased about, and we’ve brought on a lot of encouraging young players as well.
“I’m feeling quite upbeat about next season and, hopefully, it will be a better one for the club. There’s a good atmosphere at the moment and everyone is pretty buoyant.”
Mullets started the game brightly on Saturday and went ahead after just 11 minutes. Joe Warner’s cross rebounded off a defender and fell to Scott Tipper, who volleyed home at the far post for his 38th goal of the season.
Arundel went 2-0 ahead just four minutes later when Ben Harwood netted with a 25-yard free kick.
Rory Biggs then got through but was denied by the Grinstead keeper and Warner also had an effort saved, before things went wrong for Mullets in injury-time at the end of the first half.
In the first minute of stoppage time, Aaron Watson’s miss-hit cross from the left flew straight in. And, in the second of two added minutes, East Grinstead levelled when Mike Gardner turned a cross into his own net.
Grinstead then controlled the second half and went ahead on 56 minutes through Ben Chick.
Tony Reid then made it 4-2 on 64 minutes, before Mullets had a chance to get a goal back but Tipper volleyed over.
Dave Gellatly then fired in Grinstead’s fifth from 12 yards on 69 minutes.
Torode said: “We played really well for the first 45 minutes and were by far the better side in the first half.
“They got the two goals in two minutes at the end of the first half and, to be fair to them, they controlled the game in the second half and they deserved the win in the end.
“We started with quite a young team again, with six or seven 18 or 19-year-olds, so the future looks bright.”
ARUNDEL: McCarthy; Dudas, L.Walker, Windsor, Harwood; Gardner, R.Biggs, J.Biggs, Jenkins; Tipper, Warner. Subs: Norgate (Warner 65), Hunter, Grove (Harwood, J.Biggs 70), Hall, Sutcliffe.