Preview: Worthing

Worthing’s first-ever league visit to the Fleet is difficult to mention without recalling the superb 6-0 win in Sussex back in December.

But anybody using that as a yardstick for tonight’s game would be well advised to examine the visitors’ qualities in more detail and their season to date as a whole. Just as Fleet’s 5-1 defeat at Dorking last season had zero bearing on the two games the clubs played after that, so tonight will be an entirely different game from the meeting at Woodside Road.

Fleet aim for the three points this evening off the back of two draws but on an unbeaten run that stretches back 13 league games to New Year’s Day. Only a late, late Farnborough equaliser and a Hemel goal that led a charmed life behind 11 men prevented a full complement of points but the home team put that behind them now to focus on the Rebels of Worthing.

Joe Martin made his first start since New Year last Saturday, playing 45 minutes before being replaced by Franklin Domi (pictured above), and once again Dennis Kutrieb will have players at his disposal to ring any changes he feels necessary. Following tonight’s match, the remaining games can be counted in single figures so nobody needs telling how important three points will be as the season’s target comes ever closer.

This is the Fleet’s final league game under the lights on a Tuesday evening this season – and indeed the final Tuesday league game anywhere in 2022/23. Under the lights so far this campaign, Fleet have won four including the Kent Senior Cup tie and lost one – to Worthing’s Sussex neighbours Eastbourne.

Chris Bush in Fleet colours the last time Worthing paid us a visit, in 2018

Worthing, visitors to Stonebridge Road in the FA Trophy and FA Cup previously, arrive with a mixed bag of form having won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six. But they remain firmly embedded in the play-offs as they chase successive promotions after topping the Isthmian Premier twice either side of lockdown.

Entertainment is certainly a key feature the Rebels have brought with them to the National League South this season – they score plenty (and are second only to the Fleet in the division in terms of goals scored) but also let in a few as well. They’ve been involved in two 6-0 games, a 5-4, a 5-1, a 4-3 and two 4-2s.

Overall their away form has been good, but Worthing are currently four games without a win on their travels and lost 3-0 at Oxford City recently. That said, they’ve beaten the likes of Dartford, Welling, Dover and Eastbourne on the road this season and pummelled Havant & Waterlooville 5-1 at Westleigh Park as well.

Long-term manager Adam Hinshelwood has blooded a couple of youngsters in recent weeks and lost one of this top goalscorers, Calum Kealy, to Havant. But the main man is still Ollie Pearce, top scorer in their last three seasons. Key to Worthing’s success has been the spine of their side and Hinshelwood still has six or seven faces from Worthing’s 4-0 FA Cup defeat to the Fleet in 2018 in his squad to this day.

Skipper Aarran Racine is one of those, and he returned to the side last week after a spell on the sidelines. Another experienced campaigner is former Fleet midfielder Kane Wills, who missed out at the weekend, but he tasted promotion with Dorking Wanderers last season. Some other familiar faces are striker Davide Rodari who was at Dartford on loan earlier this season and defender Daniel Bowry, son of one-time Fleet player Bobby.

Winger Mo Dabre – who played for Chippenham in our play-off semi-final last season – is suspended this evening but Worthing have Josh Chambers on loan from Gillingham and handed debuts to Finlay Chadwick and Callum Chesworth on Saturday.

Rodari is an injury doubt as are Portsmouth loanee Liam Vincent, Ibby Akanbi and Cameron Tutt while Wills could be available in midfield again.

Worthing will be as keen to turn around recent draws as the Fleet, having been pegged back to 1-1 on Saturday by a Slough side who played half the match with nine men.


Our online ticketing sales platform at has tickets available until 5.00pm on matchday. We would, however, strongly advise pre-purchase for both your and our convenience in gaining admission to the ground.

On-the-day ticket sales are available from the windows by main reception, accepting card and cash payments. Turnstiles open at 6pm but they will only accept online tickets (printed out or on your device) and tickets bought at the windows on matchday.

This game is not segregated.

All supporters are welcome in our Main Stand and Social Club bars. To access the Main Stand bar, enter through the turnstiles and walk the length of the gangway in the Main Stand to the door at the Swanscombe (uncovered) End. There is signage pointing you in the direction. Dennis Kutrieb does a pre-match teamsheet run-through. Post-match music entertainment is free after the final whistle.

We have a new bar opening in the old Sponsors’ Lounge (the building situated by the Swanscombe End) serving beers from Iron Pier Brewery and Hofmeister so please do check that out. And in the corner of the Main Stand and Swanscombe End is a new food catering outlet, Fleet Feast, which opened to the public along Stonebridge Road last week and will be serving teas, coffees, other drinks and hot food/snacks.

Check out our other existing food stalls (to the left of the main turnstiles entrance, there is our Würtsel Haus German sausage experience and straight ahead as you enter the ground is the Eat Street Manhattan Grill for all your burger, hot dog and more needs!). Pop-up bars are also situated near to the turnstiles and by ‘Geeks Corner’ between the Plough End and old stand. We have a popup to be found in the marquee between the main turnstiles entrance and the Main Stand.

Car-parking as per usual on matchdays is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £3. Please have the correct change if possible to aid our parking staff and again, we would recommend an early arrival. Please note that the areas near to Northfleet Station, namely Railway Street and Hamerton Road, are resident/permit-only parking and non-valid vehicles will be ticketed. The area on Thamesway before the roundabout as you approach the Kuflink Stadium is a designated clearway – though that is not particularly apparent as you approach – so you are advised not to park here because of the risk of being ticketed.

If you wish to purchase your programme in advance for collection from our club shop before you enter the ground, you can do so either via our online shop or when booking your matchday tickets online.

Programmes are also on sale at the ground from the club shop, the popup bar as you enter the turnstiles, the Main Stand tea kiosk or in the Social Club behind the Plough End, costing £3. Advance-order programmes will be available to pick up from the club shop before the game and before you enter the turnstiles.


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