Worthing Football Club begin their 2020-21 FA Cup campaign with a trip to face West Sussex rivals East Grinstead Town in the first qualifying round this evening at the OHOB Community Stadium.
- Theophanous (52', 80')
- Thompson (84')
- Starkey (25')
- Diallo (44')
- Golding (74')
The Reds go into the cup tie having won 2-1 away to last season’s premature promotion rivals Folkestone Invicta on Saturday, curtesy of goals from Ricky Aguiar and Ollie Pearce in the first match of a belated start to the Isthmian Premier League in spite of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, hosts East Grinstead sit top of the Isthmian League South East Division after the opening day of the season having enjoyed a 4-1 win over local rivals Haywards Heath Town on Saturday.
Last season, the Mackerels made it to the second qualifying round of the competition following a series of extraordinary games:
In the first qualifying round, league-below Hastings United were seconds away from causing an upset having led Worthing 3-2, but a strike from Shola Ayoola in injury time salvaged a replay.
The U’s again looked as though they were going to knock out the Reds, leading 2-0 at Woodside Road, but two goals late in the second half from Lloyd Dawes and Ollie Pearce forced the match into extra time, before Marvin Armstrong netted the winner with a penalty shootout looming.
In the second, the Reds again found themselves minutes away from an exit away to St Albans, but a goal from Reece Meekums levelled the tie at 2-2, earning them a replay.
But on that occasion, Worthing ran out of luck as the National League South side came out 3-1 winners at the Crucial Environmental Stadium.
The Mackerel Men’s last competitive matches against tonight’s opponents came in the 2015-16 Isthmian League season, both ending in 4-2 and 5-2 respective victories.