Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
The experience was provided by Captain, Darren Budd and centre-half, Aarran Racine against a Blues side managed by former Woodside favourite, Darren Pearce.
Less than five minutes had elapsed when Gwengwe bustled past his marker on the byline and found Mo Diallo in a good position inside the area, only for the striker to fluff his lines and give goalkeeper, Syd Davies a simple catch.
Moments later and Shaq went on the attack again; this time going it alone as he made his way down the same route, though driving his shot into the side netting.
Our number nine continued to hog the headlines as he got his head to Owen Worsdell’s inch-perfect left wing delivery but saw Davies get down well to smother and snuff out the danger.
Shortly before the break it looked like Selsey would be taking a slender one-goal advantage into it when Jack North released Ryan Chittock. However, the pace and strength of Racine took the ball away from the host’s centre-forward who fouled the ex-Forest Green Rovers Skipper in his attempts to regain possession.
Instead, it should have been the Isthmian Premier visitors with a half-time lead but, despite Kyle O’Brien coming in off the left flank and presenting Ty Mthunzi with a great opportunity the midfielder could only put his header the wrong side of the far post.
Route one proved to be the order of the day once the action got underway again, with Racine’s raking long pass over the top of the home defence picking out the run of Gwengwe. The lively frontman racing into the box and delicately lobbing Davies to open the scoring.
Mthunzi came close on a second occasion by firing a free-kick, just outside the eighteen yard area, narrowly over the target with the Reds well on top.
The tally was nearly added to through academy youngster, Fin Smith who’d come on around the half-hour mark for Diallo. Unfortunately, although finding himself in a good position when the ball unexpectedly broke kindly for him, he slightly scuffed his effort straight into the grateful arms of netminder, Davies.
It then became the turn of Worthing’s back-up custodian, Giannis Boda – on at the interval for Harrison Male, who had been playing his second game in two days – to deny the home side an equaliser by parrying an attempt from substitute, Jamie Williams – after fellow replacement, Ross Ballam had teed him up – at his near post to concede a corner. Tom Kelly, on at the change of ends himself finding the side netting from the resulting set-piece.
Finally, with a little over ten minutes remaining, Jamie Smith got clear on the right and sent in a low centre that his namesake, Fin cracked against the crossbar, leaving Frankie Perry to calmly slot home his first Senior goal for the club after the Blues had failed to clear their lines.
One of the “older” heads showed the young lads he hadn’t forgotten where the net was either as Gwengwe soon made it three.
Strength, determination and no little skill were aptly demonstrated by the marauding Shaq when he held off the attentions of Brad Jones; indeed leaving the right-back on the floor and proceeding to out-jump Davies to nod home.
Smith, F was at it again when he switched back over to the right to test the reflexes of new number one, an unnamed trialist who passed with flying colours, a short while later.
A final hurrah by the home team led to Williams glancing another good chance wide at the back stick; getting himself on the end a deep delivery from the left and, to be precise the boot of someone else to have warmed the bench first-half in the shape of Marvin Meal.