A first goal in Worthing colours for trialist Mo Diallo helped ease us past Haywards Heath Town, in a game that didn’t really get going until the second-half.
It had all started so positively when Tom Chalaye applied the deftest of touches to a low Reece Myles-Meekums delivery from the right, after a huge kick down field by the returning Roco Rees had put him clear.
A quarter-of-an-hour later and Marvin Armstrong did well to hold off Trevor McCreadie and slip in Meekums, who proceeded to cut back inside Tom Gilbert and draw a fine save out of Billy Collinge.
The only other noteworthy chance of the opening period saw a battling Alex Varela (Swiss Alex) win back possession off Gilbert and Mike Hill, before slipping in Chalaye who dragged his effort wide.
Too often the final pass was overhit as Worthing struggled to break down The Heath.
When they did get a sight of goal, one particularly wayward shot led to an outbreak of wanted posters around Shoreham, as that’s where the ball was last seen in the vicinity of. (Sorry, Tom.)
The early stages after the turnaround conjured up a rare opportunity for the men from Mid Sussex, as McCreadie’s attempt from the ‘D’ was blocked and Captain, Lloyd Cotton could only pull the rebound marginally the wrong side of the near upright.
No sooner had that move come to an end then the Red Men broke quickly, with Meekums and Armstrong linking-up to good effect and allowing Kyle O’Brien to provide Diallo with an opening, only for Mo’s first touch to let him down.
His touch was spot-on moments later, after a driving run through the middle by Meekums resulted in Diallo’s well-struck shot taking a slight deflection off Cotton on it’s way into the net.
Rees got his gloves dirty (so to speak) as McCreadie got on the end of substitute, Reece Batchelor’s fizzing low delivery and won a corner.
A less accurate finish saw the same player blast a great chance over the top when well-placed inside the eighteen yard box.
Goal number three for the “visitors” came with fifteen minutes to go with Cotton the culprit as he brought down Joel Colbran for a penalty. Unfortunately, the staggered style of Mo Jannah drew a comfortable stop out of Collinge; though fortune turned in the taker’s favour as the ball wasn’t cleared and Gilbert slid in to poke home, ahead of Jannah.
Armstrong felt a tug from behind by McCreadie but Diallo’s eventual free-kick failed to test Collinge, as it sailed over the bar.
Heath’s number one beat away a low cross from Meekums, though Manny Tehe also cleared the crossbar, as Worthing continued to press.
However, it would be The Stripes who were to score next when replacement, Andy Dalhouse found a way through a few pairs of legs to sneak his attempt just inside Rees’s back stick.
That almost became the start of a comeback when Tom Cadman and Batchelor both went for a right wing cross from Hamish Morrison but neither were able to keep the header down.
Two minutes from time, Meekums picked out sub, Owen Worsdell at the far post but sadly a miscue meant the ball went across the face of goal rather than towards it.
Finally, Jannah had a good opportunity to atone for his earlier penalty miss, on the right-hand side of the six yard box, only to put it behind and that proved to be that.
Match Report: Gareth Nicholas