All the pre-match talk surrounded Ricky’s return, indeed he was presented with a signed #5 shirt by home Captain Aarran Racine prior to kick-off as “Azza” made his first appearance of the Summer alongside recent signing Adam El-Abd.
The number of trialists had been trimmed down to two per side with the visitors also including former Reds hopeful Mo Dabre, from the behind closed doors pandemic period of April 2021.
After last week’s Guinness World Record attempt at playing the most games at the same time (!) The hosts stuck to the more traditional one ninety minute friendly against the young professionals from the League Two promotion wannabes.
They even opened the scoring after only ten minutes, when Joel Colbran’s accurate right wing cross was taken down and lobbed over the trialist netminder from the edge of the eighteen yard box by Robinson.
Pearce’s sharp turn and goalbound shot resulted in a comfortable low gather by the man in green moments later, before the Wiltshire-based Whites finally tested home custodian Harrison Male via Skipper Aguiar. He received his own throw-in back from the ever-threatening Parsons and forced Male to get down and hold a low drive by the base of his near post.
A Town counter-attack saw Male come to the resume again when Parsons almost turned provider but saw Oscar Massey kept out by the ‘keeper, around the midway mark of the opening period.
However, it would be the hosts who would increase their lead a matter of seconds later, thanks to a swift break of their own; cutting open the Robins’ rearguard for Pearce to drive Cal Kealy’s grounded back stick delivery into the old onion bag to make it two.
That cushion soon halved though, with Cam Tutt adjudged to have bundled George Cowmeadow over from behind for a penalty, bringing his burst into the box to an abrupt end.
Parson’s spot-kick was initially well-saved one-handed by Male by the bottom of the front upright, only for the ball to loop up and drop perfectly for the same player to nod in the rebound at the opposite (piece of) apparatus, as he enjoyed all the luck and “H” was left to curse his.
Reds responded through Pearce’s set-piece, awarded following Harrison Minturn’s foul on Reece Myles-Meekums, to restore their two-goal advantage inside the final ten minutes of the half.
Ollie took it himself and, although striking the defensive wall, Marvin Armstrong pounced on the ball in a flash, skipped between a pair of white shirts and laid off to Kealy. The Aussie’s low left flank cross was left by Pearce to be dispatched by strike partner Robinson at the back stick.
Swindon almost quickly reduced the arrears once more, after the break, as Anton Dworzak played a delightful pass right down the centre to release Massey. Male equal to the former England Under-Fifteen forward again.
A trick he pulled off a second time shortly afterwards, with Parsons the supplier on this occasion.
The Pearce-Robinson partnership nealy bore fruit for a fourth but Ollie flashed a low one just out of the reach of Red’s new number nine.
That preceded a hectic spell of pressure from Worthing, with Kane Wills largely responsible for creating it.
Firstly, his penalty area floater was touched back by Pearce to Kealy; Minturn intervening in the nick of time to keep Cal off the scoresheet, then CK tested the strength of the netting behind the goal when he fired another Wills wonder-ball the wrong side of the target.
Jake passed up the opportunity to complete a well-deserved hat-trick when he uncharacteristically lified a good chance over the crossbar, before the Alamo eventually concluded via the unknown man between the sticks denying Meeky at the expense of a corner.
Although that particular dead-ball situation failed to produce a telling contribution to the afternoon’s entertainment, the next one certainly did.
Tutt took it and Robinson headed it home on the six yard line to claim the matchball.
Changes aplenty throughout the second forty-five ensured a regular flow of players departing and entering the fray, with one of them, fresh from the home dugout coming within inches of making an immediate name for himself, by whipping a nineteen yarder narrowly over the top.
Alert goalkeeping became the order of the day, to stop fellow sub Joe Rye inadvertently diverting in a second Swindon strike, as Male stuck out a right foot on the line.
Normal service soon resumed though, thanks to a promising run by Nodirbek Bobomuradov culminating in a shot from the ‘d’ that the on trial guests goalie dealt with without alarm.
There could be no doubt about “Bob’s” next effort a couple of minutes later, after he left Parsons behind with a stunning see-you-later turn on the right before superbly playing in Pearce to finish with aplomb.
Our new American friend (yes, trialist #two) announced his arrival off the bench by flying to his left and denying Aguiar a goal from a free-kick given against Tutt, for taking down replacement Milne.
Ricky rounded off an excellent spectacle by attempting a long-range special that, unfortunately, failed to trouble our man from Miami, as Worthing celebrated an emphatic victory in a keenly contested but fairly fought match.