National League South Sat 13 April Clarence Park
St Albans City
  • Weiss (3')
  • Hutchinson (20')
  • Pearce (1')
  • Spong (18', 69')
  • Dolaghan (41')

The Rebels were targeting a fifth successive win as they made the trip to Clarence Park to take on a St Albans side who were winless in five but still had a Play-Off position finish in their sights. Worthing themselves were hunting for a place in the top two Play-Off spots after confirming a top-seven finish in midweek.

Aarran Racine switched things up from the side that started against Dartford in midweek. Kodi Lyons-Foster and Jack Wadham both made returns from recent injuries, while Jack Spong was also drafted into the eleven. Joe Rye, Finlay Chadwick and Dylan Fage all dropped to the bench.

It was a chaotic start to a crazy contest at Clarence Park, with two goals in as many minutes to kick things off. Ollie Pearce got the scoring underway when he converted from close range after Joel Colbran’s shot travelled through a crowded box to the forward at the far post.

But, before you could have the chance to take that in, the sides were level as Mitchell Weiss netted after a nice Saints move straight from kick-off.

Had you not known, you certainly wouldn’t have said this fixture was one of much importance for either side as it was far and away from the usual tense and cagey affairs that these fixtures can bring. Weiss was denied his second just five minutes later but Ollie Wright prevented him at the near post.

It was 17 minutes in when the Rebels regained the lead. Worthing had earned a free-kick on the edge of the D, with just enough of an angle for Jack Spong to line it up and pick his spot which he executed perfectly. The ball sailed past Michael Johnson in the Saints’ goal and Spong wheeled away in celebration.

But again, Worthing were caught out straight from kick-off! This time it was Dominic Hutchinson who headed in from close range after a cross from the right.

It took 20 minutes for the next goal to come, but the ding-dong battle continued in the meantime. Aidan Francis-Clarke curled one just past the post on 25 minutes, very nearly giving his side the lead.

A few minutes later, Spong was looking to repeat his earlier effort from another dead-ball in almost exactly the same spot. This time, he opted to hit a low free-kick which was well kept out by Johnson. The hosts went straight up the other end and Colbran made a key intervention to stop Weiss’ low cross from reaching Saints talisman, Shaun Jeffers.

Moments before Brad Dolaghan gave his side the lead, the Rebels were busy trying to keep the ball out of their own net and keeper Wright made a fantastic save to do just that. Worthing were could out in their left-back position once again and Giorgio Rasulo had almost too much time to decide what he was going to do. His eventual shot was kept out by Wright who made himself big to make the stop.

Then, straight up the other end, Dolaghan was played through in acres of space and he emphatically finished past Johnson to give his side the lead for the third time of the afternoon.

There was to be one last important save from Wright before the conclusion of the half as he tipped Hutchinson’s powerful shot over the bar from a tight angle to maintain the lead going into the break.

Fage was brought on at half time to replace Wadham as Racine sought to give his side some more balance defensively and the second half was a far more typically tense and cagey battle between two sides who were playing with lots at stake. Dolaghan’s low shot five minutes in was the first real chance, but it was comfortably dealt with by Johnson.

Francis-Clarke had a big chance to draw his side level on 65 minutes, but it wasn’t to be for the defender who towered over everyone in the box from a Saints corner but headed over.

It looked for all the world that Zane Banton was going to bury it past Wright when he was sent through moments later, but Wright had other ideas as he made another quite magnificent safe to tip it around the post.

It was end-to-end again as Worthing went straight on the counter-attack to get the all-important fourth goal to double their lead. It was Spong who doubled his tally after being sent through one-on-one. The midfielder had all the time in the world to pick his spot before tucking it away in the bottom left corner for the Rebels’ 100th league goal of the season!

Spong nearly had a stab at a hattrick soon after but Cashman’s cutback was cut out just in time from a Saints perspective.

The Rebels made their second change on 78 minutes and their final change seven minutes later. First, Dolaghan was swapped with Luer up top, before Chadwick came on for Cashman for fresh legs in midfield.

Wright had to make another vital save before the full-time whistle as Rasulo ran through on goal. The keeper rushed out to meet him before making the save with his feet to help the Rebels wrap up their fifth successive victory.

The Rebels have built momentum at just the right time and look ahead to their final game of the season against Weston-super-Mare with their fate in their own hands having moved up to 3rd.

Worthing: Ollie Wright, Joel Colbran, Alfie Young, Kodi Lyons-Foster, Joe Felix, Kane Wills, Jack Wadham (Dylan Fage 45′), Danny Cashman (Finlay Chadwick 85′), Jack Spong, Brad Dolaghan (Greg Luer 78′), Ollie Pearce. Unused Subs: Roco Rees, Joe Rye.