FA Cup Thu 14 October The Crucial Environmental Stadium
Kings Langley

A little over ten minutes had been played when the first real chance of the evening was created; Ollie Starkey stinging the hands of visiting goalkeeper Oliver Keil at his near post.

Both teams struggled to settle but that all changed midway through the opening period, with left-back Kyle O’Brien winning a tremendous tackle in front of his own dugout before launching an attack that led to a pass inside to Starkey, who still had it all to do. Despite being surrounded by four white shirts on the edge of the box, he managed to find room for a low effort that beat all of them – and Keil – via the inside of the upright, to put the hosts in front.

Shortly after, Frankie Perry warmed the gloves of Keil by receiving back a flag-kick he had just taken, then making his way along the byline and finally flashing in a low one that forced the Kings Langley ‘keeper to parry by his front stick.

However, with a little over ten to go until half-time, the guests equalised from a move that started via Joe Clark’s long ball sprayed from right to left that was worked into the penalty area, missed by one but buried by another as Sam Wood found the bottom corner.

Right on the interval whistle Owen Worsdell could have regained the hosts’ advantage but rather snatched at the opportunity presented to him, after he’d burst through the middle.

Moments into the second period, both teams might have edged ahead, though the score remained the same for a little while longer.

Firstly, Harrison Mead’s free-kick off the left wing somehow evaded everyone; whistling wide of the far post.

Then, seconds later the ball came back out to Perry and his long-distance attempt was kept out by the defiant Keil.

Worthing continued to take the game to Kings Langley, with Worsdell sending in a delivery along the ground that Starkey was just unable to get a touch on.

It required a brave block by Clark in the penalty box to prevent Maxwell Bartlett finding the net, following good work and almost an assist from Starkey, on the hour mark.

Red’s number ten wasn’t to be denied much longer though when Worsdell got the ball into the box, where a defender’s clearance went straight to Bartlett who instantly punished the mistake from close range.

Less than a minute had ticked by before the home side made it three.

Once again, Worsdell took on the role of creator as he wriggled free to break down the left flank, with his eventual pull-back travelling all the way across the danger zone to O’Brien. He set himself before unleashing a fine finish into the opposite bottom corner of the goal.

Despite this, the Hertfordshire-based away side were never out of it, reminding their Sussex hosts of that fact thanks to goalscorer, Wood drawing a rare but top draw stop out of Adam Nash with a quarter-of-an-hour or so still to go.

Inside the final ten and the man wearing that particular shirt, Leo Farruch, a thorn in the side of Worthing all evening, was only kept out by Joe Rye putting himself in harm’s way and blocking his effort that had come about via Kieran Patterson’s run to the byline and subsequent drag back.

Rye performed an identical act barely two minutes later by, on this occasion, getting in front of substitute Toby Heads’ powerfully-struck drive.

A kind deflection soon fell to Farruch on the edge of the eighteen yard area but he could only locate the midriff of Nash.

Time was beginning to run out for the White’s and Nash had to be alert once more to keep out Farruch’s long-ranger at virtually full-length, with eighty-nine gone by.

Entering the final throes of an entertaining evening, one last chance to set some nerves jangling
saw replacement Ollie Clark – on for the injured Oli Mead – skillfully skip past two challenges, round Nash but, fortunately just run out of pitch.