National League South Promotion Final Mon 6 May Sussex Transport Community Stadium
  • Pearce (35')
  • Spong (53')
  • Cashman (68')
  • Odusanya (23')
  • Blair (61')
  • Wakefield (66')
  • Lambe (108')

Braintree took the lead in the 23rd minute through the Rebels’ achilles heel as Dominic Odusanya crashed in a header at the back post following a corner. Worthing have continually struggled with set pieces and were facing an uphill task against the league’s best defence, with the visitors only conceding 42 goals. 

The Iron started to get on top and could have easily gone 2-0 up five minutes later had it not been for Kodi Lyons-Foster. Worthing’s number 21 managed to get an excellent large ditch block in to deny goal scorer Aaron Blair who had managed to find himself in acres of space at the back post. 

But with no surprise, the Mackerel Men were able to level the tie through a brilliant striker’s goal by marksman Ollie Pearce. The National League South’s top scorer was able to pluck a Kane Willis clearance out of the sky before deftly clipping the ball past keeper Jack Sims. 

Worthing were able to get a hold of the game more, but chances were few and far between until skipper Joel Colbran was able to set Pearce away with a long ball. The Worthing talisman used his nous to hold up play before rolling back to Jack Spong to run on and curl in precisely from the edge of the area. The home support was in full voice for all of seven minutes as Lyons-Foster misjudged a header allowing Blair to run in behind him and level for Braintree. 

Five minutes later, the atmosphere was completely flattened but for a pocket of ecstatic away support as Chris Wakefield turned the game on its head with a brilliant solo goal. The midfielder looked to cut inside of Nicky Wheeler before going back on the outside and smashing the ball into the far corner of the Worthing goal. 

The Rebels wasted no time in responding to the setback though as a trademark team goal bought the game back onto level terms in the 68th minute. Danny Cashman slipped it into Felix on the halfway line with the winger playing in Pearce who again showed his unselfish side to drag back and then lay it across to Cashman to side-foot in and finish off the move. 

Extra time may have only had the solitary goal, but it was just as thrilling as the 90 minutes with both sides creating openings. Jack Dologhan and Cashman were both guilty of spurning opportunities with the latter missing a point-blank header whilst being in acres of space.  

Braintree thought they had won it four minutes into extra-time when Alfie Payne knocked the ball out of keeper Ollie Wright’s hand, but it was ruled out. The away side were able to snatch victory 12 minutes from time when Wakefield picked out substitute Reggie Lamb who made no mistake with a free header that squirmed through Wright’s legs.  

Worthing: Ollie Wright, Joel Colbran, Alfie Young (Finlay Chadwick 105′), Kodi Lyons-Foster (Joe Rye 90′), Joe Felix, Kane Wills, Jack Wadham, Nicky Wheeler (Brad Dolaghan 75′), Jack Spong, Danny Cashman (Greg Luer 103′), Ollie Pearce.