Isthmian Youth Champion of Champions Semi-Final Thu 2 May Kingfield Stadium
  • Brittain (53')
  • Southgate (5')
  • Berry (15')
  • Hoarty (25')
  • Harrison (32')
  • Cheverton (56')
  • McLelland (89')

These two sides had met previously this season, Worthing prevailing 3-2 at Woodside in the League Cup semi-final. Expectations were thus that this game would prove to be similarly closely contested.

The young Rebels had other ideas, however. Within 5 minutes, they had taken the lead, the Woking backline strangely reluctant to do anything about Ben Royall’s long throw into their six yard box. Sam Southgate was aware to the opportunity, though, and ghosted in at the back post to stab the ball in. Ten minutes later, Woking’s attempt to play out from the back went awry, and Stan didn’t need asking twice to make the most of their mix-up, notching his 25th of the season. The third goal arrived ten minutes later, a fairly loose pass from a Woking defender left his keeper vulnerable just outside his area, Evan was pressing high, nicked the ball off the keeper’s toes, and scampered through unopposed to thump the ball into the unguarded net, giving him 25 for the season as well.

On 32 minutes, the Cards defence were again too passive as a corner from the left was whipped in, and Luke Harrison was able to capitalise, showing the presence of mind to arrive at the back post to nod home. As the ref blew for half-time, on the dot of 45 minutes (a rare occurrence), it had been a superb performance from Worthing. Woking had, at times, been their own worst enemies, but the Rebels had punished the hosts’ mistakes effectively, and in truth, could perhaps have been one or two more goals to the good.

The second period saw a marked improvement from the home side, as they now began to cause Worthing some problems in the final third. An early attack was thwarted due to two goal-line clearances, and their increased intent was finally rewarded on 53 minutes, as number 11 Sam Brittain hit a curling shot from the edge of the area which eluded Will Tillman’s dive. Almost instantly, though, Worthing were back on the attack, Luca Allen’s strike hitting a Woking defender on the arm in their area. Despite some protests, the ref was not to be swayed, and skipper Ben Cheverton stepped up to smash the penalty hard and high to the keeper’s left.

Woking continued to exert pressure, but Will was in inspired form in the Worthing goal, making at least three excellent saves to deny the hosts a way back into the game. As the clock ticked towards 90, another misunderstanding at the back saw Stan pounce, he burst down the right wing and squared for the tireless Jack McLelland to slide home our 6th and final goal of the evening.

A most impressive performance from the Worthing youngsters, this – a good side were dispatched with some ease, and no doubt Nathan was pleased with the efforts of his charges. Erstwhile Sky commentator, and Mr Woking, Martin Tyler was in attendance, and to his credit, he went down to the pitch to congratulate all the Worthing boys at the end of the game.

The final of this competition is next week, where it will be the Bill or the Mill in opposition, with the Met Police and Cray Valley (PM) contesting the other semi-final tonight (Friday).