Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
After missing the last two games due to injury, Roco Rees returned in goal in the only change to Saturday’s starting eleven with Ricky Aguiar back on the bench at the expense of Mo Diallo.
It was the visitors who almost struck first when a dangerous-looking low cross from Leon Moore on the right only missed a decisive touch from Dayshonne Golding by a toenail.
Some neat approach play then saw Reece Myles-Meekums backheel the ball to Jasper Pattenden who exchanged passes with Ollie Pearce before curling narrowly wide of the far top corner.
A raking pass from left to right from Danny Barker allowed Myles-Meekums to spot Golding, only for his goalbound attempt to be headed off the line by Leon Redwood.
The game then turned on a red card when goalkeeper, Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke delayed his clearance too long and Golding charged it down, with the home netminder catching the ball, outside his area. Forward, Gary Noel came on in place of a limping Luke Blowden to don the gloves.
Midway through the opening period, Myles-Meekums broke down the right and sent in a delivery towards Pearce but Noel was out quickly to intercept and gather at the striker’s feet.
Moore slipped in Pearce shortly afterwards but a heavy first touch took the ball straight into the arms of Noel.
Eventually, the visitors made their man advantage count when Golding got played in on the inside-left channel and into the penalty area, at the end of a good run on the right by Myles-Meekums, where he faked to go on his right foot to fool former Red, James Beresford, before blasting into the near top corner with his left, giving Noel no chance.
Sadly, that lead only lasted a few minutes as an underhit backpass by Danny Barker led to a rushed clearance from Rees that he could only smash against the incoming Jude Arthurs and The Rooks were back on level terms.
Nick D’Arienzo replaced Noel in goal at the break but was soon picking the ball out of the net thanks to a sliding Redwood inadvertently applying the finishing touch to a Myles-Meekums cross that had followed some trickery on the left wing.
Ricky Aguiar, on for Jesse Starkety late in the first-half, then had two efforts that came via a Pattenden corner played back to him just outside the eighteen yard box but lacked the power to trouble D’Arienzo and a curler over the top, twenty yards out.
A fine, searching ball from Myles-Meekums on the left picked out Pattenden on the right and his first-time cushioned volley into the danger zone saw substitute, Tom Chalaye denied by a tremendous save from D’Arienzo.
Two minutes later and the away side looked to have put the game beyond the reach of their struggling hosts when Joel Colbran forced an awkward parry out of D’Arienzo to his left and Pearce was able to immediately find Golding in the six yard area to notch his second and Worthing’s third of the evening.
Golding was on for his hat-trick when he linked up with Pearce again but D’Arienzo was out quickly to intercept and smother.
Aaron Cosgrave got his angles all wrong when presented with a good chance and Chalaye headed the wrong side of the far post as the game began to enter it’s final throes.
Nerves were set jangling after last Tuesday’s surrendering of a two-goal lead with a little over ten minutes remaining at East Grinstead Town threatened to happen once more.
A misplaced pass in midfield by Chalaye found Cosgrave onside and in acres of space, allowing him to speed towards goal. However, Rees was there to meet him upon his arrival into the eighteen yard area and also prevented Tom Bolarinwa from captalising too.
More impressive glovework by D’Arienzo kept out Aguiar from twenty-five yards as an excellent low save frustrated the midfielder.
Stoppage time produced a couple of final attempts to add gloss to the scoreline with a fizzing drive from outside the box by Pearce that missed the ‘keeper’s left-hand upright by a matter of inches.
Then, lastly a neat interchange of passes around the eighteen yard line was started though not quite finished by Aguiar who couldn’t keep his shot down.