On another swelteringly hot day, it wasn’t only footballers trying to play in the unbearable heat as the cricket team were looking for their first league win of the year next door.
A very familiar face made a welcome return in goal as Sussex Senior Cup Semi-Final hero, Jack Fagan donned the gloves. He was joined for a first pre-season outing by (the appropriately named) Matt Boiling and a twenty minute run-out in the second-half for Summer signing, Will Miles. While Trialist ‘A’ was officially unveiled as, Leon Dramis.
Selsey were lead by new Manager and former Rebel, Daren Pearce who had brought a number of players with him from Sidlesham as he made a return to the dug-out from the boardroom.
The first thirty-five minutes were summed up by the fact I had time to count the crowd, twice and a substitution that saw the aforementioned, Dramis come on for Mott after twenty minutes. The first action of the game finally came a matter of seconds later as Jasper Pattenden made a run down the left and crossed low to first-half Captain, Joe Clarke who was unable to test the Selsey ‘keeper. It didn’t take long though for the opening goal of the game to arrive as Callum Kealy was put through by a ball over the top from Jazz Rance and he drove forward to slot home. Curt Gayler was the next visiting player to try his luck when his long-ranger was tipped over. Rance then had an effort blocked before nearly setting up Kealy for his second of the afternoon but, it was the home team who came close to restoring parity as former Sidlesham front man, Dan Bassil was denied by the offside flag. Worthing had one last go in stoppage time and it was that man Rance again who this time couldn’t keep his shot down as it flew over the bar.
Rather than the usual mass changes at the break, only Boiling didn’t re-appear from the dressing room as his place was taken by new boy, Miles. While Selsey went for the “Noah Method”, bringing on their replacements two by two at intermittent intervals.
It was the men in red that created the first opportunity of the second-half when Kealy fizzed a shot across goal from the left-hand corner of the six yard box. Rance almost played in Alex Parsons on a couple of occasions but the danger was cleared by a combination of goalkeeper and defenders. Worthing increased their lead a matter of minutes after the introduction of seven sets of fresh legs on the hour when Club Captain, Darren Budd found the bottom corner. Two became three – not one -when Dramis sent Parsons away down the right and he in turn played the ball across to a waiting Ricky Aguiar, who was left with an easy tap-in when a home defender could only get the faintest of touches. Unfortunately for the otherwise impressive attacking midfielder, it was his mistake that lead to Selsey getting back in the game, when he lost possession in midfield and Callum Dowdell was presented with a clear run on goal which he took full advantage of by finishing confidently past Jack Fagan. Aguiar looked to atone for his error as six minutes later and, with just six minutes to go, he tried to do too much and left a frustrated Parsons calling for a pass that would have left him with a carbon-copy of the youngsters’ goal. It was left instead to another one-to-watch, in the shape of Jasper Pattenden, to put the seal on another visitors’ victory when his low shot from outside the area beat the outstretched hand of the substitute ‘keeper.
WORTHING: Fagan, Cocoracchio, Boiling (Miles 46’), Barker, Pattenden, Clarke ©, Mthunzi, Mott (Dramis 20’), Gayler, Rance, Kealy.
SECOND- HALF SUBS – Colbran, Rents, Budd ©, Parsons, Aguiar, Starkey, Edwards replaced
Cocoracchio, Barker, Pattenden, Clarke, Mthunzi, Gayler & Kealy 60’
Luff on for Miles 64’ Pattenden back on for Rance 74’
Referee – Adrian Harris Assistants – Chris MacInnis & Tom Latter ATT – 73