There were plenty of goals to be seen along White Hart Lane on Saturday but it was Worthing’s own ‘Special One’ who saw his side cement third place and extend their unbeaten run to nine.
Alex Parsons in for Ollie Pearce was the only change from last week, with Tom Chalaye rested.
An action-packed game got underway with it’s first goal after only four minutes, when Jesse Starkey took a right flank corner short to Joel Colbran and received the ball back, before shifting slightly further inside and unleashing a fearsome fizzer into the top left-hand corner of the net from just outside the penalty area.
That lead almost became short-lived, when a counter-attack moments later led to Jorge Djassi-Sambu supplying Dimitri Froxylias in the inside-right channel who, despite having time to set himself, couldn’t keep his effort down.
Borough ‘keeper, Conor Beattie then did well to turn a low attempt by Reece Myles-Meekums around the post and, as play quickly switched to the other end, Carl Rushworth had to be equally adept to keep out Froxylias, following Georgios Aresti’s interception of Ricky Aguiar’s short flag-kick to Starkey and a subsequent run to the ‘D.’
Rushworth tipped another one over the top but the pace was too quick to see who had the shot !
With still less than twenty minutes on the clock, Aguiar’s slide-rule pass allowed Meekums to burst into the box, only to see a home defender prevent the ball reaching it’s intended target, while Ricky fired the rebound over.
Everyone waited with baited breath as Froxylias lined-up a free-kick at least thirty yards out but the home contingent were left disappointed when it failed to trouble Rushworth.
Marvin Armstrong had similar trouble when he too couldn’t shoot low enough from the edge of the area, then Aguiar forced Beattie to get down and push aside his effort shortly before the hosts levelled the score.
Set-piece duties were passed onto Aresti with half-time becoming increasingly imminent and his delivery was headed down by Scott Mitchell; who reacted quickest when Rushworth denied him initially to poke home the equalizer.
However, just four minutes into the second period, Dylan Jelley scored his first Senior goal for the club when he rose highest to head past Beattie from Aguiar’s corner, despite the best efforts of Stelios Demetriou to head it off the line. The far side assistant indicating the ball had crossed.
A caution for Aguiar resulted in a free-kick that Aresti sent into the danger zone and came back out to Demetriou but he couldn’t connect cleanly enough and comfortably cleared the crossbar.
Rushworth produced the save of the day when he diverted a powerful Dimitri drive over after Anthony McDonald’s left wing flag-kick had gone all the way across to him.
Then, the complete opposite occurred when Beattie took the position of ‘sweeper ‘keeper’ to the extreme and left Callum Kealy with an empty net, forty yards out. Fortunately for Borough’s custodian, his blushes were saved by a slowly drifting attempt ending up about a foot wide.
A second invitation was also passed up minutes later but from a far more difficult opening. Parsons’s pass to Colbran saw the full-back fire in a low cross that a sliding Kealy sent agonisingly the wrong side of the bar.
Rushworth also smothered at the feet of McDonald, at his near post, as the hosts fought back.
Substitute, Pearce ensured the ‘to me, to you’ nature of the match continued by lifting a delightful ball into Meekums, inside the box, with Cameron Tutt taking over and teeing-up Kealy who, this time, was denied by Konstantinos Alexandrou throwing himself bravely in the way of his shot.
Froxylias to McDonald threatened only the netting behind the goal; with the former discovering it’s sometimes best to have a go yourself when he turned Jelley in the area and dispatched a low effort around and past the outstretched right hand of Rushworth, to restore parity.
The final fifteen saw a myriad of chances for both sides, started by Callum Ismail’s dead-ball delivery landing on the dome of Mitchell and in the honds of Rushworth.
A bout of handbags emanated from Starkey’s cynical trip on rapid replacement, Michael Ademiluyi, which preceded a weak attempt by Aresti not long afterwards, after Budd (off the bench) had been dispossessed by McDonald; who had Spurs fans worried when he almost hit one of their cars parked behind the far end of the ground with his next go at goal.
Time was on Froxylias’ hands but his final dig, parried by Rushworth, was cleared to safety and Chiduben Onokwai failed to trouble the target either once he’d dumped Dylan on his derriere.
Ollie’s twenty-yard curler sailed inches over the angle and Jelley made the home team go wobbly when his downward header only missed the back stick by a similar margin.
Stoppage time led to further opportunities for both sets of players, with Rushowrth needing two tries to pounce on Froxylias’ utmost and Dawes entering the fray to sting the palms of Beattie, with Alfie Young unable to keep his follow-up header down.
One last hurrah saw Pearce, somehow, denied at the back post by a timely intervention from Ismail, when he looked certain to steal the points but a draw was fair on a hugely entertaining afternoon.