Worthing were forced to play the last half-an-hour with ten men, after losing Joel Colbran to a second yellow card but managed to hold on for a point against FA Cup heroes, Carshalton.
- Dawes (27')
- Bradford (63')
Saturday’s subs, Ricky Aguiar and Callum Kealy came into the starting line-up in place of Marvin Armstrong and Jasper Pattenden, while Alex Parsons returned to the side ahead of Reece Myles-Meekums. Mason Doughty and Ben Mendoza-Sherman reappeared amongst the replacements following injury and a loan spell at East Preston, respectively.
With both teams now boasting recent victories over Dagenham & Redbridge, it was the hosts on the attack after four minutes, as Ricky Aguiar intercepted a short pass by Luke Read and played it simple to Jesse Starkey. He set Callum Kealy racing away down the left and his low ball across found Lloyd Dawes on the edge of the ‘D’ but he couldn’t quite get hold of the shot; only able to watch it fly harmlessly wide.
The Robin’s opening gambit resulted in a defenders finish from the imposing figure of Danny Dudley, once a left wing free-kick had only been half cleared as far as him, lurking just outside the penalty area.
Former Worthing number one, Kleton Perntreou was out quickly to stop Kealy in his tracks moments later although, in truth, despite both sides enjoying some good possession, precious little of it had produced any goal threat.
So, of course, the next significant contribution resulted in a goal !
It all started in front of his own dugout with Joel Colbran, when his backpass to Carl Rushworth led to a perfectly executed Cruyff turn that left Ricky Korboa bamboozled, before a long kick down field was controlled and bent with the outside of his fight foot to a marauding Dawes, by Aguiar. Lloyd held off the close attentions of Bobby Price then replicated Ricky’s releasing ball to him, as he fired across Kleton to put his side in front.
One final chance of the opening forty-five came via a Korboa flick-on from a long Perntreou punt setting Christie Pattisson clear, only for him to touch past Tutt but blast the wrong side of the right-hand upright.
The second period got underway, on a now chilly night, with Price taking a free-kick straight to Dawes, who immediately stepped on the gas. Daniel Pappoe clipped his heels but the referee waved play on and Aguiar continued the move; spreading the ball out to Starkey and his low delivery went behind Kealy but nicely to Parsons. Unfortunately, he couldn’t readjust his body enough as he put his effort wide.
A Dawes/Parsons combination, from left to right, almost set-up a second goal for Worthing but Aguiar wasn’t able to get the required purchase on his delicate dink, giving Perntreou a simple catch.
Athletic thought they had an equaliser when Dudley slid in ahead of his opposite number, Alfie Young only to somehow turn a fizzed in flag-kick over the crossbar, from about a centimetre out.
The opening created, in part, again, by a good advantage from the man in the middle after Colbran had attempted a rugby tackle on Tommy Bradford, before recovering well to atone for his error and prevent Ernie Haxhiu from tapping in at the back stick.
Just past the hour mark and Carshalton levelled the scores, though with a hint of handball.
Neat approach work eventually preceded a one-two between Captain, Paris Hamilton-Downes and Korboa; the latter then playing inside to ex-Red, Kershaney Samuels, whose lofted pass over Young led to Bradford turning, (inadvertently) using his arm in controlling the ball, then thumping it through the hands of Rushworth, for his first goal of the season.
By this time, Reds had been reduced to ten men, when a foul on Korboa by Colbran resulted in a second yellow card in a little under ten minutes.
Undeterred, a brilliant dummy by Ricky fooled Hamilton-Downes and allowed the midfielder to take a return pass from Lloydy, before his intended target of Starkey became Price. He unintentionally gave the recently introduced, Mason Doughty the opportunity to make room for a shot, that he ultimately cracked across and away from the far post, on the edge of the ‘D.’
Samuels’ swipe saw a corner come to nothing and a touch past Doughty sent Korboa clear on the right but Carl clung on at his near post.
Doughty was having quite an impact and he soon latched onto a Danny Barker ball down our right, sped past Read and finally had his run ended by Haxhiu, who shepherded the ball back to Perntreou with sub, Ola Sogbanmu also in close attendance.
One last hope of going home with maximum points fell to the away team and, in particular, Ricky Korboa. He had two goes at finding that elusive winner, after his initial chipped ball into the box had come back out to him, courtesy of replacement, Omar Koroma; allowing him to turn but merely bobble an attempt out for a goal-kick.
That proved to be the last action of the night, as Rushworth’s restart met with the referee’s final whistle and the hosts had held on for a well-deserved draw.