Arundel Football Club joint boss Barry Pidgeon was proud of his players despite seeing them exit the Sussex Senior Cup last night.
A Jordan Dudas own goal and a first senior strike from Reece Hallard, both in the final 20 minutes, meant Mullets went down 2-0 at two-divisions higher Ryman League Premier Division outfit Worthing.
As the game went on, Arundel grew into it and Pidgeon was proud of his side’s resilience and commitment.
He said: “I was really pleased with how we performed. We knew it was not going to be easy, but we set out to frustrate them and it worked for long periods.
“As the game wore on, we began to create more chances and came off a little disappointed to go out.
“I cannot fault the effort from any one of my players, they gave everything and we can count ourselves a little unlucky to have gone out.
“If we take this performance into Saturday’s game against Hailsham Town, then we will have no problems at all. They’ve struggled so far this season but it’s vital we are not complacent and repeat the effort, commitment and performance we put in against Worthing.”
The opening 45 minutes saw little goalmouth action, with Arundel keeper James Fernandes forced into a couple of saves.
First, Worthing’s Luke Brodie’s cross found the unmarked Harvey Sparks but he volleyed wide on seven minutes.
Ross Edwards’ rampaging run ended with him trying his luck, only for his strike to deflect off Dudas and strike the bar six minutes later.
Edwards was once again involved ten minutes before the break – he met Brannon O’Neill’s corner but his powerful header was parried away by Fernandes.
Jack Cook nearly handed Arundel an opener seven minutes after the break. His misplaced pass went to Dion Jarvis but his dipping effort went just wide.
The game came to life in the final 20 minutes as both teams looked to progress.
Worthing’s Will Hendon and Omar Bugiel linked well, with the former scooping over Fernandes, only for his effort to be cleared off the line by Jarvis.
Arundel’s resistance was finally broken 15 minutes from time when Sparks’ teasing cross was put into his own net by Dudas.
Arundel substitute Scott Tipper almost levelled a minute later. After Reece Hallard passed straight to him, Tipper’s lobbed effort struck a post and stayed out.
Hallard made up for that error with his first senior goal ten minutes from time. Brodie slotted the winger in and he then rounded Fernandes to slot home.
Arundel return to Southern Combination League Premier Division action on Saturday when they make the trip to basement boys Hailsham.
ARUNDEL: Fernandes; N.Da Costa, Dudas, Jenkins, Herbert; Jarvis, A.Biggs; R.Biggs, Nicholson, Boutwood; Russell. Subs: Adams (Herbert 11), Tipper (Russell 45), L.Da Costa, Thorpe (Jarvis 85), Rennie.
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