Expectation aside, just look how far we’ve come

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While any defeat is ultimately disappoint-ing, Worthing losing to high-flying Havant & Waterlooville on Tuesday, in a game they could have possibly drawn or even won, needs to be put into some kind of context.

Reading the Rebels’ forum and listening to fans in and around the ground, occasional frustration is part of a football supporter’s DNA, along with periods of elation and even despair.

A well worn cliché I know but you really can’t win them all, regardless of good old expectation.

Let’s rewind 24 months, the club on the precipice of disaster, with extinction a real possibility.

The memories of November and December, 2014, will live with me forever, a genuine fear the club had reached the end of the road, then George Dowell arrived on the scene and the rest is the stuff of local sporting legend.

Today the club now boasts a state-of-the-art playing surface, stadium facilities the envy of many in the Ryman League, a young, talented squad and a management team who work very well together and whose specific qualities compliment each other.

Cliché alert (again), it truly is a marathon not a sprint and the ultimate acid test is not just how the club looks from the inside, it’s the feedback you receive from other clubs that ultimately buoys you.

Havant & Waterlooville are a good barometer for Worthing, a well-run, ambitious club, with clear designs on climbing the football pyramid.

In the space of eight weeks, we’ve had two classic encounters with them, which arguably could have gone either way on both occasions, yet when you look at the respective playing budgets the Hampshire outfit dwarf Worthing.

If you can be gracious in victory, the gents from Havant certainly were – but perhaps more importantly they went to great lengths to stress how, in their opinion, Worthing were getting it right both on and off the field.

I’d never want any of us to stop being passionate about Worthing Football Club but maybe before some people criticise, they should look at the fact that the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Exciting times ahead at Sussex County Cricket Club with the news of the appointment of former England rugby union legend Rob Andrew as the new incoming chief executive.

Having played first-class cricket while at university, Andrew starts his job at Hove in the New Year and, after a couple of disappointing years at Sussex, it’s probably just what the club need.

And, finally... Well, as Greavsie did say, “It’s a funny old game”. I found a programme from the dark days at Gillingham, when the Albion attracted crowds of less than 2,000.

Who would have thought, a decade or so later, 30,000-plus would pack into the Amex on a Friday night for a game which is also being shown live on TV, while the following day the Premier League ‘giants’ from Croydon can’t get 25,000 to watch a 3pm kick-off against arguably one of the best teams in the country.

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