Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
Manager, Adam Hinshelwood made two changes to the team that succumbed to two sucker punches against Bognor. Danny Barker and, for his first start of the season, Mo Diallo came in for Marvin Armstrong and Dayshonne Golding, who both dropped down to the bench. They were joined on it by Kyle O’Brien, Frankie Perry and Will Seager.
The action had barely got underway when the hosts found themselves a goal down. Ben Cheklit took advantage of the time and space afforded to him to drive a shot through the legs of Harrison Male from the corner of the six yard box, just two minutes in.
A short while later, a long ball by Aarran Racine was latched onto by the marauding Tom Chalaye, only for the striker to drag his effort wide of the far post.
However, home fans didn’t have to wait much longer to celebrate an equaliser as another long- range pass, via the boot of Jesse Starkey on this occasion, was met with a deft touch from Ollie Pearce and Diallo rose to head his inch-perfect cross past the otherwise impregnable presence of Danny Bracken, in the visitor’s goal.
Diallo came close to returning the favour but Bracken, once more, was there to frustrate Pearce, at the expense of a corner.
Starkey’s radar was spot on when picking out Diallo who got the better of Mani Mensah, only to hit the side netting, as we reached the midway mark in the first-half.
A misplaced header off the dome of Ola Williams saw Pearce advance before slipping in Diallo; cue Bracken to avert the danger for a flag-kick that came to nothing.
Casual’s ‘keeper was certainly earning his corn and pulled off another top-draw stop, one-handed now, to prevent Pearce finding the top corner after Luca Cococracchio’s run to the byline and subsequent delivery into him.
A classy backheel by Chalaye gave Diallo his next opportunity to put his side in front but the woodwork gave Bracken a brief respite, as his effort struck the upright and rebounded to safety.
Four minutes before the break, Bracken made his best save of the afternoon, with Diallo looking certain to bury Dean Cox’s right wing cross until the away number one did it yet again, somehow keeping out a close-range half-volley to see the sides go in all square at the break.
After an avalanche of chances in the opening period, Worthing nearly found themselves behind for a second time, when Cheklit rode the tackle of Jasper Pattenden on his way into the penalty area, only to shoot straight at Male.
Back up the other end and a mini-scramble in the eighteen yard box ended with Cox stabbing a weak attempt at Bracken.
A swift counter-attack concluded with Barker setting up a well-placed Chalaye but the forward delayed too long and Alfie Bendle was able to slide across to block and the danger evaporated.
That man Bracken got down to hold a low driven shot by Pearce at the base of his front stick following a long, high ball into the number ten by Pattenden that he’d taken down and turned on.
Pearce then flashed another attempt off target, as the home bombardment continued.
The introduction of last week’s match winner, Dayshonne Golding soon had an effect on proceedings, although he couldn’t quite get hold of his goal bound effort and it sailed harmlessly past the far post. The chance being created by Racine’s flicked header to a lofted set-piece delivery from the trusted left boot of Starkey.
Entering the final five minutes of the contest, it was Golding again who had an opportunity to book a place in the next round.
This time, on the left-hand side of the six yard area, he forced a save out of Bracken and Jack Strange was there to firstly block, then clear the ball away from another replacement, in the shape of Reece Myles-Meekums, at the opposite upright.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession and goal threats for the second game inside a week, the visitor’s nearly broke home hearts not once but twice in the final throes of the afternoon.
Substitute, Kieran Cadogan bore down on the target, only for Male to dash out to meet him and maintain the status quo.
Reds had their netminder to thank once more, two minutes into the extra six that were eventually added on by the referee.
A one-handed stop frustrating the same player, after late sub, Nat Pinney – only on the pitch for a matter of seconds – had slipped him in.