It was a case of deja-vu at The War Memorial Sports Ground last night, as Worthing were forced to come from behind again to snatch a 2-1 win at newly-promoted Carshalton Athletic.
- Korboa (21')
- Ajiboye (70', 71')
The visitors started with almost the same side that had lined-up against Wingate & Finchley, with the only change seeing Danny Barker keep the number four shirt in place of the injured Ross Edwards. With the subs bench completed by a return, from suspension, for Joe Clarke.
The first twenty minutes contained little to write home about. Only a miscued right foot effort from David Ajiboye and, moments later, a long-range drive from the same player hitting the side-netting, causing my pen to actually make meaningful contact with my paper.
However, as the midway point of the half approached, fans-favourite – and later to be declared as The Vice President’s Man of the match – Ricky Korboa, twisted and turned just inside the penalty area before unleashing his shot past Lucas Covolan, despite suspicions of offside after he was put through by Jacob Mendy.
Carshalton came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage, when Tommy Bradford’s free-kick ended with Kalvin Morath-Gibbs only missing by millimetres with a far post header, once the impressive James Richmond had knocked the ball back into the danger zone.
Mike Dixon looked to give the home team a two-goal cushion when he strode forward on the counter-attack, only to delicately dink his attempt into the waiting hands of Covolan.
It then became the turn of the men in white (kit, not coats) to go in search of an equaliser, as Aarran Racine rose highest to meet a Sam Rents corner but, he could only head wide.
The Robins were almost made to pay for their profligacy, when Callum Kealy swivelled and smashed a left foot volley against Billy Bishop’s bar and Jesse Starkey put a free-kick narrowly over the same piece of apparatus, after he himself had seen his run ended, illegally, by Paris Hamilton-Downes.
It was Starkey again, at the start of the second-half, that had the first sight of goal, as he made space for a twenty yard shot that ultimately flew wide.
The hour mark saw Bishop produce the save of the match, in what was a fine impression of Gordon Bank’s monumental denial of Pele in 1970, when he produced a similar effort to keep out Racine’s header from another Rents flag-kick, which came about when Kealy had his shot deflected behind.
A couple of less threatening occasions produced half-chances for each side, as Ajiboye couldn’t quite stretch enough to get on the end of Starkey’s cross and Bradford narrowly avoided knocking the 9:00pm Magaluf to Gatwick out of it’s flight path.
With twenty minutes to go, it looked like the hosts were heading for a second successive one-nil win, after they came back from Lewes with all three points on Saturday.
That was until Ajiboye put on the afterburners and left a cloud of dust/black rubber behind him, with a stunning burst of speed down the right wing.
Starting on the halfway line, no one could catch him, as he cut into the box and fired a low drive past Bishop into the far corner.
Less than sixty seconds later and he’d put us in front, when he slid home Kealy’s low, driven cross from the opposite side of the pitch, from around the penalty spot.
A shell-shocked Robins’ initial hopes of a comeback themselves weren’t raised particularly high, when player-manager, Peter Adeniyi chipped a tame effort straight to Covolan and sub, Dos Santos, left some some more in-bound passengers looking nervously out of the plane window.
The final ten minutes, along with the accompanying six of added time, was like The Alamo for Worthing, with Carshalton desperately searching for an equaliser.
Bradford fired straight at Covolan, after being teed up by Dos Santos, before Mike Aziaya left the Brazilian flat-footed when his shot clipped the ‘keeper’s right-hand post and went behind.
The frame of the goal almost came to the visitor’s rescue again as their nemesis, Dos Santos sent a scorching volley flying dangerously close to the far top corner then, Richmond thought he had finally beaten the man in green, only to see him pull off a cracking, fingertip save.