Worthing preview

Wingate and Finchley will bring their summer to an end with a trip to the beach on Saturday, as the Blues head to the south coast to take on newly-promoted Ryman League Division One South playoff champions Worthing FC. The Rebels find themselves at the dizzying heights of sixth place in the Ryman Premier Division, just one point outside the playoff places, making the most of their first return to the league since 2007. Jon Meeney's men also reached the second qualifying round of the F.A. Cup at the weekend, requiring two legs to overcome Carshalton Athletic by an aggregate score of 9-5. Though a far cry from their 1982 F.A. Cup second round appearance, the Rebels' current success has come as no surprise to fans of the club, with last season's players' and supporters' player of the year Omar Bugiel already notching up 8 goals across all competitions. The German striker is already over half way to matching his tally of 15 goals from last season and the league's joint-third top goalscorer is showing no signs of slowing down, netting five of Worthing's nine FA Cup goals over the weekend. However, following their opening three-game winning streak, the Rebels have gone on to draw one and lose two - including a 5-0 demolition at the hands of fellow Seasiders Bognor Regis Town in their last outing. Wingate and Finchley were on the other side of a 5-0 scoreline at the weekend though, brushing Waltham Abbey aside to stake their own place in the F.A. Cup's second qualifying round. But league success has not come as easily and Steve Wales' sensational yet solitary goal against Hendon in August remains the Blues' only winning goal this season. This Saturday's sides met in the Athenian League 50 years ago to the day, when Wingate and Worthing played out a 1-1 draw at Woodside Road. And with just four points taken from a possible 18 so far this season, Keith Rowland's men will be eager to better that result this time around. By Andy Gerlis

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