Worthing Football Club regained top spot of the Pitching In Isthmian Premier League with a 3-1 win over Margate at Hartsdown Park this afternoon.
- Afrane-Kesey (29')
- Diallo (40')
- Aguiar (45')
- Golding (54')
Despite falling behind though a Richard Afrane-Kesey strike, goals from Mo Diallo, Ricky Aguiar and Dajon Golding helped Worthing to a comfortable victory in a dominant performance to leapfrog Cheshunt and Carshalton into first position.
It was the hosts, however, who had the first clear-cut chance of the match in the third minute, when Afrane-Kesey latched onto a loose ball and fired low shot at goal comfortably saved by Roco Rees in the Worthing goal.
The winger was again involved six minutes later when he fired a low cross in towards striker Noel Leighton in the six yard box but his headed effort went wide of Rees’ goal.
Worthing had their first chance of the match when some good link-up play from Dajon Golding and Ollie Pearce set up Mo Diallo for a shot which was deflected for a corner.
That set piece was taken short, with Reece Meekums eventually crossing the ball finding Danny Barker, who volleyed his effort narrowly past the post.
Midway through the first half, Meekums again curled a low cross into the area, this time finding Pearce who fired over the bar off-balance.
Two minutes later, Margate almost found themselves a goal up when Barker nearly turned a cross into his own net, but Rees managed to adjust and gather the ball to save his blushes.
Worthing continued to probe and a fine save from Margate goalkeeper Bailey Vose was all that prevented Dajon Golding from breaking the deadlock with a fierce drive from the edge of the area.
Vose was again called into action in 27th minute, when Pearce fizzed the ball in towards Diallo, who looked certain to tap the ball home only for Vose to adjust his feet and keep the score goalless.
Afrene-Kesey continued to look a menace on the break, and as Cameron Tutt looked to intercept a through ball from Archie Burnett, he could only lunge the ball into the winger’s path, who fired beyond Rees to put the hosts 1-0 up.
Worthing ramped up the pressure after the setback and had two free-kick opportunities to equalise with Pearce curling one over the bar, before Aguiar clipped the top of the crossbar with another.
Six minutes before the interval, Pearce broke into the area evading multiple challenges, before unselfishly laying the ball to Diallo who knocked the ball home to equalise for the Reds.
Worthing’s strong end to the half continued when Meekums crossed the ball into Golding, who shot on the half-volley narrowly over the bar.
The visitors continued to press in the dying embers of the half, and when a cross in from Meekums evaded Diallo, the ball fell to Aguiar closing in who smashed home to put Worthing 2-1 up at the interval.
Worthing began the second period in similar fashion to the first, and doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Pearce squared the ball to Golding who tapped the ball home to make it 3-1.
On the hour mark, Vose was called into action to produce a fine stop for a curling effort from Aguiar on the edge of the area to deny him his second and Worthing’s fourth.
Two minutes later, Meekums found himself on the end of a deep ball in from Pattenden but could only volley the ball into the side netting.
Worthing remained in full control and had another opportunity to make it four when Diallo crossed the ball into Golding, but his subsequent effort went wide of Vose’s goal.
Margate almost found a route back into the game when a loose ball from Aguiar presented Reece Prestedge with a chance who saw his effort bravely blocked by substitute Danny Pappoe.
The ball fell to Freddy Moncur inside the area, producing a goal-saving tackle from Joel Colbran.
Worthing weathered Margate’s short-lived storm and had the chance to put the game firmly beyond the home side’s reach with 10 minutes remaining when Meekums slipped in debutant Mo Jammeh, who blasted the ball past Vose but also the left-hand post.
Jammeh then had another chance to put a cherry on top of the cake in injury time when he was set up by Marvin Armstrong, but he fired past the same post meaning that score remained 3-1 at the final whistle.
The result leaves Worthing top of the pile after the opening six games, and next play East Thurrock United at Rookery Hill in seven days.