Report: Ollie ! Ollie ! Ollie ! Pearce ! Pearce ! Pearce !

A first-half hat-trick from Ollie Pearce helped fire Worthing to victory in this extraordinary seven- goal thriller between two promotion chasing sides.

Mens Full Time
3
Kingstonian
  • Skura (26')
  • (48')
  • Bilongo (67')
4
Worthing
  • Pearce (19', 35', 44')
  • Starkey (75')
Isthmian Premier Division Wednesday 13th October, 2021

Cam Tutt made his long-awaited return from injury, taking over from the newly-injured Pat Webber, as both Reece Myles-Meekums and Jasper Pattenden were restored to the starting line-up in place of the benched Will Seager and Dean Cox.

It was fourteen minutes into the contest until either team seriously threatened, with a long ball down the right by Aarran Racine sending Myles-Meekums scampering clear. He reached the byline but his low cross was deflected away from the predatory Pearce by a defender’s boot and the danger soon dissipated.

However, an expectant crowd were only made to wait another five before the deadlock was broken, following some neat, intricate approach play by the Boys in Blue. A touch back by Marvin Armstrong on the edge of the box to Jesse Starkey allowed the number eleven to slip in Pearce and he confidently beat K’s ‘keeper Rob Tolfrey at his near upright.

The lead wouldn’t last long though and the hosts were soon on level terms again thanks to Declan Skura’s far post header turning former Red Kershaney Samuel’s flighted free-kick into the far side of the net.

Both teams then had chances to go in front.

Firstly, Jasper Pattenden raced down the left wing, evading two challenges on the way and locating Dayshonne Golding in the penalty area, only for his swft swivel and shot to be blocked, allowing the Hoops to break.

Straight up the other end, a lightning-fast counter attack came to a conclusion when Rhys Murrell-Williamson drove inches wide from the ‘d’.

Ten minutes before the break, Worthing did regain their advantage via the pace of Pattenden once more. After blocking Captain Simon Cooper’s attempted pass along the right flank and receiving the ball back from Golding, the home-grown youngster got all the way to the byline where he fizzed in a low delivery that Pearce swept home at the back stick.

As the clock prepared to tick into added time, the Pattenden/Pearce partnership proved profitable for a hugely-deserved third of the night. The former electing to dink a delivery over to Pearce who headed past a shell-shocked Tolfrey for his hat-trick.

It may have been an even better break for the away team but Golding suffered the ignominy of air-kicking on the turn, after Racine had nodded down Starkey’s corner in the eighteen yard box.

Kingstonian made a double substitution during the interval, bringing on Aaron Lamont and Juevan Spencer at the expense of Cooper and Teo Kurtaran, with the changes having an immediate effect.

Supporters had barely returned to their places when Lamont rattled the crossbar, at least thirty yards out then, seconds later a misplaced pass by a blue shirt gifted possession to the same player who calmly picked out Murrell-Williamson, charging in at the far upright, to gleefully knock in from close range.

K’s had certainly come out all guns blazing after the change of ends and briefly looked like they’d restored the equilibrium when Worthing netminder Harrison Male appeared, from some angles, to have fumbled a Samuels flag-kick into his own net at the near post. Fortunately, it later transpired that this reporter’s eyesight needs testing as our custodian had, in fact, kept the corner from creeping in at the aforementioned apparatus.

The Seasiders were camped in their own half at this point, with Lamont’s twenty-yarder not missing by much and, moments later Nyren Clunis experiencing an identical outcome from the same range.

Despite that sustained period of pressure by Hayden Bird’s men, it was actually the guests who were a whisker away from making it four-two when Pearce, just outside the area, tested the strength of the bar behind Tolfrey.

Play rapidly returned to the opposite end of the ground though; Samuels adding another assist to his name shortly afterwards, as Bryant Akono Bilongo rose above the rest to power home a second set-piece off the trusted right boot of K’s numero seven.

Fifteen minutes to go and this topsy-turvy affair took yet another twist when Starkey’s free-kick by the touchline went all the way in; dropping just out of the reach of Tolfrey’s desperate attempts to claw clear of the far top corner.

However, that wasn’t quite the end of things, with Samuels trying to catch out Male who had left a rather inviting gap from a set-piece position that had already led to two goals but, on this occasion a third would not be forthcoming; the effort marginally missing it’s intended target.