Worthing through in FA Trophy despite going to down to 10-men in first half
A brave ten-man Worthing beat Chesham United in the FA Trophy second qualifying round thanks to a David Ajiboye goal.
A bit of injury relief came Worthing’s way as Joel Colbran returned to replace the suspended Will Miles, while Callum Kealy and Ricky Aguiar came in for the cup-tied Zack Newton and Reece Meekums.
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In-form Sam Rents had the first major chance, lashing a volley just wide from a rebound before curling a ball for Aguiar to touch into the chest of Chesham keeper Ben Goode.
Jesse Starkey then played a fantastic aerial ball for David Ajiboye to head into the top corner of Chesham’s goal, giving Worthing an 18th-minute lead.
The Mackerel Men looked comfortable in the first half, their front line constantly pushing and prodding a Chesham defence that were happy to sit back.
The visitors did have a good chance when 39 year-old journeyman (and former Red) Jefferson Louis crossed to Dave Pearce, who scuffed a shot wide before Ryan Blake crossed for Louis to miss.
Bad news came when Rents was showed a questionable second yellow just before the end of the half to Worthing fans’ anger.
Immediately after the break Worthing almost got a second, David Sota heading Starkey’s free-kick onto his own crossbar.
But it was Chesham that had more chances, Eoin Casey denied first by a diving Kleton Perntreou, then by the post after heading from a corner.
The Worthing keeper then pulled off a great one-handed save to stop Harry Pearse’s shot before Colbran picked off a cross from Blake, making enough contact for Perntreou to parry away.
Two great chances came for Worthing from one corner, James Crane’s header rattling the crossbar before Ben Goode dived well to stop Danny Barker’s shot.
Ajiboye had a late chance to notch a second, but after impressively weaving his way into the box and past Goode, was booked for diving. Only another great stop from Goode could stop Jared Rance scoring after, but ultimately one goal was enough for Worthing to advance.
Adam Hinshelwood said: "I think the first 20 minutes was some of the best football we’ve played all season. It’s exactly what we’ve been working on, getting into the right areas.
"Then we just showed our naivety by making it hard work. We got a goal, a great header from David, but before you know it we’re down to ten men. We went from playing good football and looking comfortable to backs-against-the-wall."
Worthing: Perntreou, Parsons, Rents, Budd (c), Crane, Colbran, Ajiboye, Barker, Kealy, Aguiar (Clarke), Starkey (Rance). Subs: Ovenden, Rance (Starkey), Clarke (Aguiar), Mthunzi, Skerry. Att: 802