United strike late to win on emotional day

Worthing United celebrate Sam Blundell's winning goal against East Preston LP1502041 '''''''               PICTURE BY LIZ PEARCE
Worthing United celebrate Sam Blundell's winning goal against East Preston LP1502041 ''''''' PICTURE BY LIZ PEARCE

WORTHING UNITED Football Club scored an injury-time winner when they returned to action on an emotional day at Lyons Way on Saturday.

The game was Mavericks’ first since players Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt died in the Shoreham Airshow crash and a sell-out crowd of 1,008 was in attendance to pay tribute to Matt and Jacob.

After a minute’s applause for Matt and Jacob, the game got underway.

Mavericks’ Lawrence Edwards was perhaps fortunate not to receive a booking for an early full-blooded challenge on Dan Huet, before the visitors’ Alfie Gritt shot over from ten yards.

The clearest chance of the first half fell to United’s Titus Paterson on 32 minutes after Jack Hayward sent the ball in his direction when he won a tackle. However, Paterson was denied by the legs of EP keeper Darren Ford.

Mavericks made a bright start to the second half and went close on several occasions before taking the lead on the hour. Ford kept out Steve May’s low shot, Julian Curnow blazed over at the back post, Ben Hall’s low drive from the edge of the area was pushed behind by Ford and Wayne Joseph and May both fired off target, before Hayward opened the scoring.

United’s captain played a one-two on the edge of the penalty area with Sam Blundell, before slotting home off a post as a loud cheer went up around the ground.

Clear opportunities were then few and far between until EP levelled in the first minute of injury-time. Bruno Costa went on a mazy run and fired into the roof of the net from 20 yards, before holding his hands up to almost apologise for scoring.

However, United went straight down the other end and got the winner three minutes into stoppage time. Ford was unable to hold on to substitute Paul Elliott’s 20-yard shot and Blundell pounced to knock the ball home from six yards.

United boss Nigel Geary said: “You saw that we were rusty but as the game went on, we got better and better, especially in the second half.

“We had a 20 minute spell where we scored the goal and maybe could have had two more to put the game to bed but again that’s rustiness.

“For them to score was a massive kick in the teeth but, in the end, I think two people were looking down on us today.”

UNITED: Evans; Marsh, Curnow, Hasan, Hall; Joseph, Hayward, May, Edwards, Paterson; Blundell. Subs: P.Elliott (Paterson 61), Gilmour (Hayward 68), Wotherspoon (Joseph 73), Timms, Hunt, Pawsey, Rose.

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