How Worthing United and Littlehampton kept the FA Vase flag flying

Worthing United and Littlehampton both made FA Vase progress. Worthing United will face Lancing in round two after beating Edgware in a replayed first round tie - while Littlehampton's win in round two, at home to Sheppey, set up another home match in round three.

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 12:30 pm
Worthing got the better of Edgware / Picture: Stephen Goodger

Worthing United’s FA Vase stay of execution continues after they ran out 3-1 winners against Edgeware Town at Lyons Way on Saturday.

Edgware had won the initial tie 3-0 on the last Saturday in October before lockdown, but it transpired an administrative oversight had seen the visitors play an ineligible player, leading to this replayed tie.

In atrocious conditions, but playing with a strong wind, United took an 10th-minute lead when the impressive James Thurgar flicked on a header at the near post from a Callum Thoms corner.

Littlehampton take on Sheppey / Picture: Tommy McMillan

That lead was doubled on 32 minutes when Joe Patching’s strike gave the stranded Edgware keeper no chance as the shot nestled in the net just inside the far post.

With the monsoon continuing, many of 121 crowd were speculating at the break if two was going to be enough.

The footballing gods then smiled on the Mavericks as the rain stopped and the wind dropped.

And on 62 minutes, Billy White rose like a salmon and sent a bullet header from a free kick straight into the net to effectively finish the tie.

Edgware pulled one back from a disputed free kick with 10 minutes left, but United held on and now face neighbours Lancing at Culver Road this Saturday (3pm) in the second round.

United boss Dan Wood told the Herald: “I was pleased we replayed the game rather than go through be default, as the 3-0 scoreline in the first game flattered them.

“At 2-0 after half an hour, we knew the third would put the game to bed, and still thought that at the break, and the third by Billy finished the game.

“I’m looking forward to going back to my old club (Lancing) on Saturday, I’ve still got a lot of friends there. We lost heavily in the Vase last season, but will certainly give them more of a game this time.”

- IAN HART

* Littlehampton Town progressed to the third round of the FA Vase with a dramatic victory over Kent-side Sheppey United.

Two goals in the 93rd minute forced the tie into a penalty shootout with Littlehampton winning 5-4 in spot kicks.

The Golds thought they had won it when Sheppey conceded an own goal in the 93rd minute. But the Kent side scored with the last kick of the game to lmake it 3-3.

Shellshocked Golds had to pick themselves up from the incredible comeback with penalties, which took place without extra time.

But even the shootout was dramatic. The referee ordered three of the spot kicks to be retaken after the keepers crept off their lines.

Littlehampton goalie James Binfield made the winning save to secure a 5-4 victory. They will now welcome Hanworth Villa in the third round on Saturday, December 19.

More than 200 spectators braved the cold and rain at The Sportsfield but due to Sheppey travelling from a Covid tier three region, no away fans were allowed into what was a closely-contested thriller.

The deadlock was broken in the 51st minute. On his debut for the Marigolds, Thomas Biggs made a darting run to put the home side ahead. But Sheppey equalised less than a minute later.

George Gaskin’s goal was adjudged to have crossed the line on 67 minutes before the visitors levelled again.

With the late own goal, victory for the home side looked assured until Sheppey’s remarkable comeback forced the Golds to scrape through on penalties.

- JAMES ROBERTS