Three goals in six minutes, either side of half-time, propelled The North Londoners to a comfortable away win at The Bibby Financial Services Stadium.
- Johnson (49', 47')
- Bricknell (42')
Alex Parsons’ one-match ban saw Adam Hinshelwood make the only necessary change to the squad that battled bravely to three points at Brightlingsea, with David Ajiboye fit again.
It was the hosts who started the brighter, as James Crane was denied by the offside flag after only two minutes; Darren Budd’s delivery into the area flicked on by Joel Colbran for the left-back to meet with an outstretched boot, that prodded the ball onto the roof of the net.
Courageous defending by Ollie Pearce lead to him throwing himself in the way of a powerful Mickey Parcell attempt and denying the number seven with his derriere.
Zack Newton pulled an effort wide of the near post and Dan Rumens headed over the bar in response, in an otherwise quiet opening to the game.
David Ajiboye drifted in from the left to fire over from a central position, with the corner seeing Sam Youngs block Pearce’s header, before the in-form forward was inches away from getting a decisive second touch.
A rare mistake from Buddy meant he lost possession in midfield and Aaron Greene ran onto Billy Bricknell’s pass out to the inside-left channel. Fortunately, Kleton Perntreou was out quickly to block the shot with his chest.
The Towners had the bit between their teeth now and Youngs almost broke the deadlock, following some neat build-up play on the left, sending his effort screaming fractionally over.
Ricky Aguiar got UFO enthusiasts excited, as a flash of yellow came across the windows of St Elmo Road, courtesy of his right boot, at the end of a Billy Barker knockdown, arising from a Crane cross.
The Bricknell/Greene partnership nearly bore fruit again, ten minutes before the break, as the burly striker spotted an incoming Greene, who, this time, was kept out by the outstretched right hand of Perntreou, as he tried to lift the ball over the Reds’ custodian.
KP came to the rescue again moments later, as the away team continued to probe down the left-hand side, by denying Bricknell with an extended right boot, once the pairing of Greene and Remi Sutton had seen the latter set up the chance for Town’s top scorer.
A stunning crossfield ball from Aguiar set Newton on the charge but, in trying to get the opportunity onto his right foot, delayed long enough for Captain, Ryan Blackman to get back and shepherd the danger through safely to Joe Wright.
Just when most people thought we might make it to half-time at nil-nil, Bricknell broke through. Marc Weatherstone headed a corner to the experienced number nine, who despite having Colbran at his back, managed to flick the ball through both their legs, at the far stick.
Worthing’s answer to going behind came through Aguiar’s free-kick, that was initially punched out by Wright to Ajiboye and his mis-kick pounced on by Newton, who blazed over.
A surprisingly subdued crowd were soon awoken almost immediately after the interval, by two quickfire goals: Matt Johnson was the lucky recipient of a deflected Jalen Jones clearance that he lashed home, into the top corner, at a rate of knots, ala Hot Shot Hamish, from the corner of the penalty area.
The joy was, relatively, short-lived however as, by half-turning and tucking inside the same upright within seconds of the re-start, the Town midfielder immediately doubled his tally and put the game beyond the reach of a stunned hosts.
It took ten minutes for The Reds to summon up a riposte, when Ajiboye seized on a weak header and played in Pearce down the right. His cross was met by a coupling of Crane and Parcell at the far post, with a corner the outcome.
In truth, a lacklustre home team offered little by way of attacking threat in the second period.
A final-quarter-fling only producing one serious save from Wright, as he turned away Aguiar’s low, impelled attempt from a half-cleared effort, twenty-two yards out.
Sadly, the wideman’s next go at goal, came, rather tamely, back off the defensive wall.
Rumens sent a diving header over his own crossbar, perhaps out of sympathy and Josh Gould, only on the pitch for a matter of seconds, saw his late shot blocked by a packed eighteen yard box, after the ball had been headed off the line.
Not even the usually vociferous home crowd could stir themselves into applauding their heroes at the conclusion of a disappointing afternoon.