The Velocity Trophy Quarter-Final Tue 11 February The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Chalaye (36')
  • Nzala (87')
  • Beckles-Richards (64')
  • Kassarate (77')

The tie came straight after Worthing’s first league loss in over four months, as the Mackerel Men fell to defeat against Cray Wanderers on Saturday.

The two sides met just 17 days ago in a real war of attrition, with the Mackerel Men only able to unlock the Ambers after 75 minutes and two red cards.

The first chance of the game fell at the feet of Joe Clarke, the midfielder forcing goalkeeper Harry Girling into a fine reaction save down to his right after just two minutes.

Much like the previous encounter, this game began slowly with little to choose between either side.

Zach Newton had the first clear sight of goal for the visitors, preying on a loose ball deep in Worthing territory and firing a shot towards the near post, but Carl Rushworth remained solid and turned the ball round his post.

Cheshunt would have found themselves ahead on the half hour mark were it not for the efforts of Jasper Pattenden. The young winger, playing as a wing back, showed some great commitment to track back and put in a last-ditch challenge on Newton, who had already rounded Rushworth and looked certain to score.

After 36 minutes, Worthing had found their goal. The ball fell to Tom Chalaye in the box, and he showed great composure to slide the ball across his body and found the bottom right corner of the net to put the Mackerels ahead.

Worthing could have doubled their lead soon after. Marvin Armstrong displayed some fine footwork on one of his trademark driving runs, beating the entire Cheshunt defence before slotting Lloyd Dawes through on goal. Dawes aimed his strike right towards the top corner, but Girling was equal to it and tipped it over the bar.

The half ended with Worthing one goal up, but it had been far from a walk in the park. Cheshunt had proved resolute and did not stop causing issues for the Worthing backline, drawing Rushworth into action and making life uncomfortable for the league leaders.

Carl Rushworth was in fine form, showing just why he is so highly rated. Cheshunt began the second half quickly, and carved open a golden opportunity for Reece Beckles-Richards, who found himself 1-on-1 with Rushworth. The Cheshunt man looked certain to score, but Rushworth closed down his angles and stayed big to make a massive save for the Mackerel Men.

Cheshunt had a gilt-edged chance to equalise on the hour mark, but once again Rushworth proved equal to their efforts. A long ball over the top found Newton, who squared for Beckles-Richards but Rushworth scrambled across and made a succession of saves to keep it level.

After 65 minutes, Cheshunt had their equaliser. Beckles-Richards, who had been knocking on the door for a while, latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the Worthing area, and curled his finish past Rushworth into the bottom left corner.

The hosts looked to quickly restore their lead, with midfielders Armstrong and Tyrese Mthunzi combining well to carry the ball up the pitch, but the Cheshunt defence proved difficult to unlock.

With just a quarter of an hour remaining, the visitors took the lead. A corner was whipped in to the far post and found the head of Amadou Kassarate, whose header took a big deflection and nestled in the back of the net.

Their lead was doubled ten minutes later, as a blocked shot landed perfectly at the feet of substitute Ashley Nzala, who smashed the ball home from 6 yards.

The referee blew his whistle moments later, with the Ambers walking away victorious. They will progress to the Semi-Finals of the Velocity Trophy.