Although this may have “only” been a 5-2 win against an under-23 side, the Reds virtually fielded one of their own with only three players being “too old !”
Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
Arran Racine and our trialist friend (who was present but not playing) were the only ones who turned out at East Preston on Tuesday, not to be involved today. Marvin Armstrong and Dayshonne Golding came into the starting eleven, while the returning Ryan Richefond and Ollie Read were, initially, on the bench.
It was the hosts who got the action underway as early as the fourth minute, when a low, long-range effort by Ricky Aguiar was pushed over the target by goalkeeper Ben Roberts for a corner. The set-piece was promptly taken by the same player that had won it and met by Luca Cocoracchio, who rose above the visiting defence to head home.
Aguiar almost helped set-up a second, after taking advantage of United’s unsuccessful attempt at playing out from the back; presenting Golding with a great chance that he could only fire straight at the grateful Roberts, close in.
More loose play by the away team led to Ahmed Kamil-Hassan capitalising on the left and linking up with Aguiar, Golding then, finally, Armstrong who drove into the box and also stung the gloves of the travelling custodian.
An equaliser arrived somewhat out of the blue shortly before half-time, as Joel Colbran’s nudge on the experienced Sam Corne, while the pair were competing for a high ball, saw referee James Kerten point to the spot. Captain Teddy Green easily sent Harrison Male the wrong way to level the scores.
That lead proved to be short lived though, thanks to substitute Ollie Pearce battling to regain possession in the area and flashing a shot past Roberts, just four minutes into the second period.
Two more changes at the break nearly combined to equally good effect when Jasper Pattenden got in a teasing cross from the left that Tom Chalaye wasn’t quite able to direct on target, as he glanced wide of the far post.
Chalaye got himself in the right place at the right time again, midway through the half but a heavy touch to Pearce’s lofted pass saw the ball run through to Roberts.
Shortly afterwards, Pearce showed the way by latching onto a long, raking delivery from Joe Rye down the inside-right channel and charging into the penalty area where he rounded Roberts and tucked home.
Worthing’s advantage soon increased, with a similar approach sending Reece Myles-Meekums scampering away along the opposite flank. He picked out Pearce further forward and his cross was expertly guided into the other side of the net by the deft touch of Richefond.
A low fizzer from Kamil-Hassan was held by Roberts, as Pearce teed him up before a third goal in seven minutes briefly reduced the deficit.
Sub Vinny Medhurst found himself in acres of space on the counter and proceeded to spank a finish into the bottom corner, past the outstretched hand of Harrison.
Going into the final ten, Ty Mthunzi sprayed a lovely pass out to Myles-Meekums on the right who beat his marker and burst into the eighteen yard box; pulling the ball back to Chalaye who shot over the bar.
Reds continued to attack and Pattenden gave Pearce the opportunity to complete his hat-trick, only for Roberts to foil him as he closed the striker down at his near upright whereupon he deflected the attempt onto said woodwork, at the expense of a late flag-lick.
The dead-ball was taken quickly and played short by Myles-Meekums to Pearce, culminating in Pattenden’s delivery being met by the perfectly-timed run of Mthunzi, who arrived unmarked to volley his first senior goal for the club into the bank of the net.
One last hurrah from Welling saw Medhurst allow replacement Ollie Bate the chance to sidestep Rye at close quarters, only for him to be denied by the legs of Male, and the game drew to a close not very long after that.