Isthmian Premier Division Tue 14 December Hartsdown Park
  • Bola (4', 54')
  • Agyemang (22')
  • Greenhalgh (74')
  • Pearce (63', 90')

Only the bizarre vagaries of Covid testing meant that Manager Adam Hinshelwood was forced into a change from Saturday’s win at Brightlingsea. Pat Webber starting in place of Luca Cocoracchio who was stuck on the other side of the Channel, perfectly fit and healthy.

Ben Greenhalgh forced Harrison Male into a low hold, as the hosts carved out the first chance of the evening after just three minutes.

That proved to be a precursor to what happened next, with Reds conceding early for the second Tuesday in succession.

Martial Godo was allowed space to surge down the left wing, before crossing for Vance Bola to beat teammate James Bessey-Saldanha in the air and head the opening goal of the game.

Blues nearly doubled their advantage midway through the opening period, via Marvin Armstrong’s loose touch gifting Bola the opportunity to lob Male from forty yards, which Worthing’s number one tipped two-handed over the crossbar to spare any blushes.

However, the corner that came as a consequence led to ‘gate adding a second, when the visitor’s defence failed to clear Greenhalgh’s delivery and it dropped kindly for an unmarked Montel Agyemang to stroke home, just inside the area.

At the end of three of the longest away trips of the season in a row, it was maybe less of a surprise, therefore, that it took nearly half-an-hour for the guests to get going, with Callum Kealy firing narrowly over the target following some delightful interplay between him and Ollie Pearce.

Last-ditch defending by Webber then merely held up a fairly rampant Kent club, who rapidly recycled the ball to present Bessey-Saldanha with the first of two opportunities he pulled past the post in the space of a few minutes.

Underemployed ‘keeper Ben Bridle-Card was finally awoken from his slumber in first-half stoppage time, thanks to Pearce’s free-kick from the ‘d’ arrowing towards the top corner until the home glovesman took flight to parry past the post and out for a flag-kick.

Jesse Starkey took it and Joel Colbran arrived right on cue to meet it but could only nod wide.

Nine minutes after the change of ends, Bola bagged his brace. Owing much to the blistering pace/Strictly Come Dancing audition of Bessey-Saldanha, who twisted and turned his way down the left flank and sent in a cross that the frontman dispatched with ease.
Reds responded through Dajon Golding, although regrettably he could do no more than scuff a presentable opening and the chance evaporated.

Despite now facing an uphill battle another Starkey set-piece offered a glimmer of hope, when his second attempt saw Danny Barker head back across goal at the back stick for the predatory Pearce to head past Bridle-Card in the six yard box.

Shortly afterwards, it needed a brave block by BB-C to deny Reece Myles-Meekums, after Barker’s ball along the inside-right channel had teed up the teaser.

Fine approach play then gave Meeky a quick-fire second go at goal that he placed the wrong side of the far upright.

The match was pretty much put to bed with little more than a quarter of the contest remaining.

Greenhalgh’s flag-kick adjudged to have gone all the way in from the right to (briefly) silence the otherwise noisy travelling support.

Club Captain Darren Budd, on for the unusually quiet Golding, blasted high into the night sky as proceedings gradually drew to a telling conclusion.

Fellow sub Fyn Rutherford made a dramatic entrance when, barely a minute after taking the place of Bessey-Saldanha, he was sent scampering straight through the middle where only a heavy touch took the ball through to Male.

Worthing scored the best of the evening, as time ticked by; a rare lapse in the host’s rearguard resulting in Pearce cutting in off the left and belting a beauty past the beleaguered Bridle-Card. Though, a finish unfortunately no more than a consolation.

Bola nearly went home with the match ball after he struck the frame of the goal by assessing the strength of the apparatus atop it; having to make do with just the two as Margate deservedly went home with the spoils.