Isthmian Premier Division Tue 26 October The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Pearce (54')
  • Meekums (58')
  • Ufuah (37')

Tom Chalaye started in place of Dayshonne Golding in the only change to the side that won Saturday’s epic against Lewes. DG was joined on the bench by Kyle O’Brien and the returning Ty Mthunzi, who was back from his loan spell at Lancing.

A promising opening by the hosts almost saw them go in front as early as the eighth minute. Joel Colbran picked out Chalaye with an inch-perfect cross that the young striker headed onto the top of the crossbar and watched bounce behind for a goal kick.

Tom went agonisingly close again moments later, being millimetres away from getting onto Danny Barker’s chipped through ball.

There weren’t many chances for fans to get excited about until shortly before the break, when the Merstham contingent celebrated a shock lead.

A stretching Barker inadvertently allowed John Ufuah to beat the offside trap and the onrushing Harrison Male, who slid out of his area but was beaten to a ball which the Moatsiders’ number eleven looked to have taken too far. However, composure and a calm finish resulted in the far side of the net bulging as the tight angle proved no obstacle.

The first forty five were nearly up with Jasper Pattenden on the verge of equalising, only for a superbly-timed tackle by Kyrell Palmer to keep his team in front.

After the interval, an in-form away side threatened to extend their advantage as goalscorer Ufuah, hugging the right-hand touchline, passed inside to Tahjae Anderson who did well to deceive Marvin Armstrong on the turn. Unfortunately, his subsequent curling effort ended up causing tailbacks on the A27 rather than troubling the target.

Worthing were more accurate with the next attempt of the evening, thanks to a short corner routine seeing Pattenden lay off to Jesse Starkey, who’s bending delivery was nodded down by Aarran Racine for Pearce to head home past former Reds custodian Toby Bull from close range.

Parity wouldn’t last long though; Myles-Meekums starting and finishing a fine, flowing move to put the Boys in Red ahead.

His initial knock to Pearce was played beautifully down the line to Chalaye who sent a delightful reverse pass inside his marker, Reuben Collins which Meeky swept into the net, to make it two goals in four minutes from the homesters.

A third may have been on the cards when Starkey floated over another free-kick but Racine couldn’t quite adjust his body enough and his header went the wrong side of the far post.

Barker then broke over the halfway line and sprayed out to Pearce making his way through the inside-right channel. He only required one touch before hitting a powerful, low drive that Bull beat clear from his front stick.

Pressure almost paid off for Myles-Meekums and Chalaye as they put Collins under plenty of it, on the far side of the eighteen yard area. The former dispossessing the visitor’s Skipper, with Pattenden about to get on the end of his ball across the box, only for Palmer to get there first and clear the danger.

The Wasp was buzzing now and featured in the next move which should have seen the game put to bed.

Recently introduced into the fray, Golding harried Bertie Lloyd into giving possession away cheaply, presenting the striker with the impetus to link-up with Pattenden, Armstrong, Myles-Meekums and finally Pearce who sent in a peach of cross that Golding failed to apply a strong enough contact to and Bull was able to make the save. Jasper leaning back too far and firing the rebound high over the bar.

Golding got the better of Lloyd again, going into added time; drifting inside the central defender and pulling his shot just past the front upright, winning a flag-kick in the process, which proved to be the final bit of action on a night when Worthing went top of the pile.