Worthing strolled to a nine-nil victory against Southern Combination League visitors Loxwood, as the Starkey brothers set the benchmark for goal of the season and Ollie Pearce scored four.
Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
The home team handed debuts to trialists Mo Dabre, Exauce Mabanza-Ditu (“X” to his friends) and goalkeeper Ben Whiting, while the Magpies included former reds Luke Brodie and Tom Summerfield.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to create the first chance of the afternoon when, after only three minutes, Reece Myles-Meekums laid the ball back to Ahmed Kamil-Hassan who forced a save out of Callum Thompson. The danger wasn’t cleared yet though and Cam Tutt’s recycled cross led to Ollie Pearce heading onto the roof of the net.
Pearce then almost set-up Meeky, only for his driven delivery from the right to narrowly evade him at the back post.
The deadlock was finally broken on the ten minute mark after Jack Frankland’s nodded return to his ‘keeper saw Thompson have to get down low to parry, where the waiting Dabre gratefully pounced to net early into his potential Worthing career.
That lead was nearly doubled shortly afterwards as Tutt slipped in Kamil-Hassan on the left-hand side of the box but a defender’s touch and the far upright denied the youngster.
Midway through the half Pearce and Meekums combined once more; a good save from Thompson resulting in no more than a corner.
Almost half-an-hour into the contest, Reece made it two. Pearce’s header from Jasper Pattenden’s right wing cross was kept out by Thompson and Meekums swept home.
The Magpies number one was having a busy time of it and did well to block from the same player at the end of a neat build-up down the right and into the centre between Ricky Aguiar, Dabre and the second goalscorer himself.
Pearce soon got in on the goalscoring act when the ball ran kindly to him on the edge of the penalty area and he casually, though confidently chipped a delightful effort over Thompson. Squeezing the ball between the netminder and the crossbar.
Meeky passed up a good opportunity when he couldn’t quite direct his header on target from another Pattenden delivery but immediately made amends by fizzing in a low one for Pearce to tap in at the back stick.
The former Brighton winger was at it again three minutes later, as he jinked his way past three black and white striped shirts before teeing-up Ollie P to caress into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick.
Pearcey managed to find time to bag his fourth before the break; sliding in to successfully get on the end of Tutt’s byline cross.
Reds continued to attack at will and only five minutes of the second period had elapsed when an excellent reverse pass along the left flank, by the recently introduced Dayshonne Golding led to fellow half-time replacement, Jesse Starkey taking a touch then arcing a stunning finish over Thompson and into the far top corner.
A late run by Aarran Racine saw him meet Joel Colbran’s measured delivery but place his header the wrong side of the back stick and seconds after that, youth-teamer Joe Rye made no mistake to notch up his first Senior goal for the club from an identical ball in from the same source.
Colbran could have had a hat-trick of assists, only for Mo Diallo to miss the target too with a nod down and over inside the six yard area.
Loxwood sub, Archie Burge lacked the power in his attempt to head clear on the eighteen yard line and Ollie Starkey took the ball down with his right foot, before dispatching a cracking, dipping volley with his left to make it nine and spark discussions in the Starkey household as to who the “goal of the game” accolade would go to.
Double figures were the width of the crossbar away from being achieved as Fraser Trigwell – on at the break for the overworked Thompson – pushed Golding’s left byline cross-shot onto the frame of the goal.
One last hurrah from the hosts presented Diallo with the chance to finally get on the scoresheet, when he was brought down just inside the box by Trigwell. However, after confusing everyone including himself with a run-up more akin to an audition for Strictly Come Dancing, he sent his spot-kick straight down the middle, where Trigwell was able to redeem himself with a comfortable stop.