Loyal fans can pay what they want

By David Watters

After attracting some of their biggest crowds in years this season, Worthing say fans can 'pay what they want' on Saturday to see their clash with AFC Sudbury in the Ryman League's top flight.

The Rebels - 2-1 winners at Merstham in the Ryman Premier on Tuesday night - are rewarding their supporters after attracting the second highest crowds of the 2016-17 season so far after Dulwich Hamlet with an average of 663 spectators coming through the turnstiles at Woodside Road on matchdays.

Last season's Ryman South champions also posted the second highest gate of the season when 1781 supporters turned out in January to see them host leaders Bognor Regis Town. Hamlet, who lead the attendance charts with a massive average of 1,285, boast the biggest league gate after 2217 fans saw their clash with The Rocks at Champion Hill in October.

Mackerels chairman George Dowell hailed the backing of fans for joint managers Jon Meeney and Gary Elphick and their side this season in a statement announcing the gesture for the 1 April fixture.

Dowell said: “The supporters have been phenomenal this season. After a long spell out of the Ryman Premier Division, it’s certainly been a roller-coaster season but the supporters have backed the team through thick and thin. This just a small gesture of the club’s appreciation of that unwavering support."

Elphick - who reckons the club has one of the best fan bases he’s seen - said: “It’s a chance for the club to say thanks for the support the season. Worthing has one of the best fanbases I’ve seen in my time in non-league football - they’ve been great in my time here, so this is just giving something back to them.”

Image courtesy of Twitter/@WorthingFC

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Where next?

Talent trumps senior experience Merstham's Rhys Davies could be playing in the Championship next season before he's even appeared in the Ryman League after being snapped up by Sheffield United.
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