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Rushworth’s Reflexes Rescue Reds

Worthing were unable to break down a Kingstonian team that played three-quarters of the game a man light and, needed a penalty save by Carl Rushworth to preserve a point.

Kingstonian
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Worthing
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Sat 22 Feb, 2020 Isthmian Premier Division

The same eleven that lined-up against Lewes on Wednesday took to the pitch again on Saturday, with the one change coming on the bench, where Joel Colbran returned at the expense of Lloyd Dawes.

A lacklustre first-half almost had an early goal to settle it down, only for a strategically-placed Alfie Young to clear Fabio Saraiva’s header off the line, inside the opening ten minutes.

Goalkeeper and crowd favourite, Rob Tolfrey then denied Ricky Aguiar at the base of his near post, after Jasper Pattenden had slipped him in at the end of some decent approach work down the left.

K’s maiden voyage into enemy territory started with good teamwork down the opposite wing but ended with Bromley loanee, Andre Coker failing to get hold of his shot following Dan Hector’s pull back and it went harmlessly past the upright.

Midway through proceedings the hosts were reduced to ten men, as Harry Osborne was adjudged to be the last man when he nudged Ollie Pearce off a ball that had been sumptuously supplied to him by Danny Barker.

Pearce dusted himself down and blasted the subsequent free-kick straight at Tolfrey.

Half-an-hour in and debutant Coker seemed certain to score but, incredibly, side-footed wide of a gaping goal, after Red’s had lost possession in midfield, allowing Eddie D’Sane to break clear.

While the home fans sing “Don’t cha wish you ‘keeper was Rob Tol-frey,” it said just as much about the respective attacks when it was he who forced Carl Rushworth to back-pedal and hold the ball in front of his own net from a long-range free-kick.

Reece Myles-Meekums did his best to change that, when his burst through the centre saw him release Pearce to his left. Ollie glided past substitute, Tutu Henriques but missed the target.

In first-half stoppage time, the hosts had a golden opportunity to lead going into the break, as Pattenden bundled over a goalbound D’Sane and the referee pointed to the spot.

Well, “we’re quite happy with our ‘keeper being Carl Rush-worth” because he kept us in the game yet again thanks to a left-sided dive that saw him parry Saraiva’s penalty to safety.

A gentle curing effort by Aguiar gave Tolfrey a comfortable catch in the early throes of the second period before a long pass picked out Pearce, who played in Meekums for an attempt that he blazed over the top.

Rushworth remained equally untroubled by Coker’s downward header after Sean Clohessy’s cross had presented him with the opportunity.

Play switched from right to left and Pattenden fizzed in a delivery that narrowly eluded a sliding Pearce at the back stick; a breakthrough still not forthcoming for either side.

We came rather close – too close for those of a red and white hooped persuasion – when Connor Hunte laid the ball back from the corner of the eighteen yard box for Aguiar to hit a low drive that bounced awkwardly in front of Tolfrey, who was only able to spoon it over the bar.

Pearce and Meekums combined to almost devastating effect moments later with one supplying the other, only for an onside Meeky to stand and slip on the ball with only the goalie to beat.

Worthing were being frustrated by the division’s draw specialists; Pearce a fraction over the crossbar with an otherwise impressive overhead-kick then Pattenden doing well on the left to feed Meekums, who found Alex Parsons on the right but he could only find the car park behind the stand.

Red’s did hit the target again, though Tolfrey kept them at bay once more, via the most casual of clearances off the line; nonchalantly side-footing away in response to Barker’s downward header at the rear upright.

Stoppage time commenced and concluded with recent replacement, Aaron Lamont the lucky recipient of a breaking ball, that Rushworth held low down, after it was aimed in his direction from the left-hand side of the box.