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The Non-League Football Paper

National Game Awards in association with SCL – Reusch Goalkeeper of the Year: Ross Worner

HIS manager Paul Doswell called him a “proper keeper” when announcing his signing for Sutton United last summer.

And no-one can deny that Ross Worner didn’t do a proper job after returning to Non-League following five years in the Football League with Charlton, Aldershot and AFC Wimbledon.

After their usual slow start, his team won the National League South with a game to spare and as the U’s hunted down long-time leaders Ebbsfleet with a club-record 26-game unbeaten run, the 26-year-old proved almost unbeatable at times.

You only have to log onto YouTube to see a compilation of his best saves that his club’s fans have put on there, to see why.

Even in the early stages of the season when things didn’t always go so well, he saved two penalties in the same game at Gosport Borough – where he kept one of 26 clean sheets in all competitions.

Sutton had the best defensive record in the division, conceding just 32 goals in 42 league games – and Worner missed just one of them, the last one at Oxford City, when the title was already won.

Twice he kept five clean sheets in a row during the season, and he was about to complete another five-for when he was rested on that final day when the gloves were off and the flip-flops on.

He was presented with the Sutton United supporters’ club player of the year award before the title-clinching home win over Chelmsford City, and after adding the Goalkeeper of the Year NGA to his growing collection at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, he told The NLP: “It’s a great feeling winning goalkeeper of the year. To even get nominated for it was a bit of a surprise. It’s not often you get to come to these sort of events.

“We were looking unbeatable every game. We had a solid back five and we weren’t conceding goals either. All we had to do was score and we knew we would get results out of the games.”

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