Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
Giannis Boda played his first ninety minutes for the first team while Pat Webber (debut) and Ansu Janneh started alongside the returning Dayshonne Golding, back from his trial at Dover Athletic. Youngsters Ruben Austin and Jamie Pike were on the bench with Mo Jammeh returning from Gambian international duty.
Anybody not taking their place before kick-off may have missed the opening goal, as Captain Darren Budd’s corner was guided home from close range by Ty Mthunzi; his maiden senior strike.
Mo Diallo almost made it two when he pounced on goalkeeper Max Little’s attempts at playing his way out of trouble, only to see the ball trickle past the far post.
The visitors responded through the pace and power of striker Dillon De Silva, who held off the attentions of Pat Webber on the right, cut into the penalty area and drove narrowly wide of the back stick.
A delightful pass down the left by Kyle O’Brien released Diallo and then Cam Tutt, who’s byline delivery was glanced across the face of goal by the right instep of Golding.
Reds struck the woodwork, in a frantic start to proceedings, with Diallo the unlucky recipient after he’d impressively side-stepped a defender to create the opportunity.
It was the away side who scored next though, as their quick movement on and off the ball proved decisive on the left-hand flank and Armerlindo Mema applied the finish a few yards out.
The hosts almost went back in front moments later thanks to more good work on the left by O’Brien, as Tom Chalaye came within inches of heading home his excellent cross.
Instead, The Superhoops went in front after Skipper, Amrit B-McNulty drilled a low attempt past Boda who, despite getting a hand on it, couldn’t keep it out.
The young ‘keeper nearly had a helping hand in making it three to Rangers when his poor clearance led to Arkel J-Boyd bursting forward and flashing fractionally the wrong side of the target.
However, he soon regained his composure by making a fine save to deny De SIlva shortly before half-time.
Not long after the break Budd’s set-piece expertise resulted in his team drawing level, as this time Webber timed his run to power home his first goal on his first appearance for the front side, seven years since his move from our under 18’s to Ipswich Town !
Nifty footwork from Chalaye saw him eventually kept out by Little, following Ryan Richefond’s pass inside. Then, up the other end, Boda performed near miracles to push De Silva’s close-range shot over the bar, with Mthunzi breathing a huge sigh of relief.
A gold run from the halfway line saw Golding finally brought to a stop by Little, who ended up sitting on the ball.
Midway through the second period, De Silva looked to have restored Ranger’s advantage; turning in the rebound from substitute, Ody Alfa’s crossbar dinger, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Chalaye’s stretch and slide wasn’t quite enough for a lead-regainer, following replacement, Lewis Thorn’s cracking pull-back, while Mthunzi was caught in possession, allowing De Silva to test the reflexes of Boda once more, as the Greek custodian pulled off another fine stop to keep out the guest’s number nine.
The same player was at it again ten minutes later, when he took down a long ball on the left wing but blazed a great opportunity over the top.
An unfortunate clash of heads between Mthunzi and Austin led to a brief delay, with both thankfully able to resume.
That resulted in the clock ticking on to ninety-six and, on ninety-three, a superb delivery off the left channel by sub, Owen Worsdell was fired past Little inside the six-yard box by someone else who hadn’t been on the pitch very long, in Alfie Hall.
Worthing still had to endure a squeaky bum moment though, when J-Boyd pounced on a defensive error but fizzed his attempt wide of goal.