Outfought, outthought and outplayed; Worthing were comprehensively beaten by AFC Sudbury - and the final score didn’t even flatter them.
- Colbran (79')
- Harris (19')
- Altintop (23')
- Harrison (48')
- Bennett (90')
Tutt, Aguiar and Dawes returned to the side that started on Saturday, alongside Ollie Pearce, who had come off the bench at Haywards Heath Town. A one match ban meant Jesse Starkey was the other omission from the Sussex Senior Cup victory.
In incessant, driving rain, it was the visitors who got going quicker than their higher-division hosts, as a deep left wing cross from Billy Holland saw the experienced Sean Marks beat Carl Rushworth to the punch but he could only put his header over the crossbar.
His opposite number, Paul Walker spilt a Pearce shot ten minutes later and Joe Grimwood blocked an effort by Lloyd Dawes, in what would be the home team’s only attempts on target in the first-half.
Sixty seconds after that, Ben Pashley’s attempts to bring the ball out from the back were stopped too easily by Reece Harris, who advanced towards goal where he slipped the ball low, around Rushworth’s outstretched hand, to give the Suffolk side the lead.
As we reached the midway point of the opening period, a back-post header down and into the back of the net by the towering Ben Hammett, from Callum Harrison’s left wing corner, rapidly put the boys in blue two goals to the good.
If that was supposed to act as a warning, it certainly wasn’t heeded when the same flag-kick taker sent in a similar delivery a very short time later that, somehow, missed everyone in a crowded six yard box.
A hesitant Pashley got away with his second indiscretion, as Harris robbed the beleaguered centre-half and, fortunately for Worthing, lashed over the top, around twenty yards out on the left.
Just shy of the half-hour mark, a midfield turn and measured pass from Harrison to Marks eventually led to the latter forcing a full-length Rushworth tip away his effort, before the Reds realised you have to shoot to score. Only for a sliding Liam Bennett to deny both Mason Doughty and Pearce in the penalty area.
The Suds very nearly went off at the interval with a three-goal advantage, when the aforementioned Bennett found Harrison in a central position and he located Captain, Joe Whight on the left. His cross was headed down by Holland to Marks and Rushworth’s foot diverted the ball over the bar for a corner. The subsequent set-piece nodded in an identical place by Whight.
Whatever the respective Managers said at the break it looked like only AFC had listened, as it took them a mere two minutes after the turnaround to make it three-nil.
Tom Maycock poked a pass through to Marks from the centre circle and he consequently set Harrison racing clear to finish under the hands of Rushworth, when the ‘keeper really shouldn’t have been beaten.
Reds response was a weak, long range attempt by Aguiar that smacked of desperation and gave Walker an easy gather.
Fin Stevens gave Colbran the opportunity to pick out Alex Parsons’ run down the outside-right of the eighteen yard box but his low, driven delivery flashed across the area without getting a touch.
Substitute, Parsons then broke forward and returned the favour to his Captain. Marvin Armstrong, who came on at the same time, managed to get the ball out of his feet and Reece Myles-Meekums recovered it by the byline; flashing an effort across the goalie, who parried it. Aguiar’s powerful attempt then received the blocking treatment from goalscorer, Harris.
A little over ten minutes from the end, Ricky’s corner on the right was met by the shin/calf of Colbran and an unlikely comeback was suddenly on the cards.
Unfortunately, Cameron Tutt’s pass straight to Sudbury sub, Freddie King almost blew that theory out of the water but Rushworth smothered his shot, as he swivelled and fired goalwards.
Colbrans’ centre saw a spectacular, defensive diving header flicked on and one bounce resulted in King dumping Pashley on his posterior as he sped through the middle. He had time to wait for the cavalry, in the form of Tom Dettmar to arrive before nudging a pass to the replacement, who forced Rushworth to tip his effort past the post.
‘Yellows’ finally put the hosts out of their misery in stoppage time, thanks to Bennett latching onto a beautifully weighted ball before beating Tutt to the byline, cutting back inside the full-back when he did catch him up and emphatically beating Rushworth; sending a shot across the netminder at his near upright.