Worthing's FA Trophy dreams dashed by Dorking - but Eastbourne Borough beat Tiverton
Worthing are out of the FA Trophy - but Eastbourne Borough are through to the next round
National League Dorking Wanderers put in a clinical display to knock the Mackerel Men out - it finished 2-0 at Woodside Road, write the Worthing FC media team.
Alfie Rutherford scored in both halves to send Wanderers through, however the home side had their chances throughout the 90 minutes to make life more difficult for the National League side.
After a quiet opening ten minutes where both sets of players adjusted to the challenging conditions there were chances for both sides to take the lead within a minute of each other.
First Jesse Starkey send in an inswinging corner that found Aarran Racine in space at the back post but the captain could only stab his effort into the side netting. Seconds later, at the other end the ball fell for Matt Briggs on the edge of the area but he dragged his effort wide of Harrison Male’s post.
Rutherford broke the deadlock in the 38th minute with the game’s first bit of real quality, cutting inside from the left and flashing a great strike past the helpless Male.
The home side came out fighting in the second half, presentable chances for Cox and Armstrong came and went in quick succession, before Racine’s header was cleared off the line by opposing captain Barry Fuller.
Despite those chances Wanderers extended their lead shortly after the hour mark when Matt Briggs beat Male to a through ball, leaving Rutherford with a simple tap in for his and the away side’s second of the game.
The home side continued to create chances, Racine again proving dangerous from corners, this time heading over then Reece Meekums drew a good save from Stuart Nelson.
As they continued to push Wanderers found space at the other end and nearly added a third when Briggs robbed Cameron Tutt and teed up substitute Jason Prior who’s effort was well saved by Male.
The higher division side used their experience and saw out the final ten minutes fairly comfortably to progress to the next round leaving Adam Hinshelwood’s men to concentrate on their pursuit to join their opponents in the National League next season.
At Priory Lane, Eastbourne booked their place in to the Third Round draw, as Anthony Scott reports.
A brace from captain Charlie Walker secured Borough’s passage and saw off Tiverton Town. The Sports skipper scored either side of half-time to put Danny Bloor’s side in control. However, Dan Hayfield’s late strike set up a nervy finish at Priory Lane but the Sports ultimately did enough to avoid an upset.
Boss Danny Bloor was forced into three changes from the win against Slough seven days ago, with Mitch Dickenson, Dom Hutchinson and Jaden Perez all out. In came Charlie Towning and Jack Currie, whilst Steven James also returned to the starting XI having not featured since August through injury.
In almost numbing conditions with blustery winds coming off of Storm Arwen, The Sports struggled to get going against their Southern League Premier South opponents. Jordan Lam twice forced Lee Worgan into action inside the first half an hour, but ultimately saw his efforts comfortably saved by the Sports stopper.
But Borough grew into the tie. Walker teed up Greg Luer on the right who saw his effort beaten away by Lewis Williams before the keeper was out well to save at the feet of Charley Kendall.
And three minutes before half time, Borough were in front. Currie drove forwards from full-back to the edge of the area before finding Kendall on the right. His low ball across picked out an unmarked Walker who turned home from close range.
The Sports started the second half on the front foot, with Joel Rollinson forcing Williams into a smart save at his near post before Kendall headed wide after Jake Elliott delivered a good ball in from the right.
Rollinson again had the chance to double the lead just before the hour mark, but he dragged his effort wide of the bottom corner after driving forwards from midfield. But Borough’s dominant start to the second half paid off after 66 minutes.
Kendall broke through on goal, but saw his effort saved by Williams and then his follow-up cleared off the line by Aaron Dawson, before he teed up Walker and his cracking first-time strike found the top corner from the edge of the box.
However, Tiverton fought back. Lam did well to beat Elliott down the left hand side and his ball across picked out Hayfield 12-yards out and his low half-volley fizzed into the bottom corner. But for all their pressure, the closest Tivvy came to an equaliser was when Kyle Egan set up Hayfield but Trent Mahorn deflected his effort wide of the post.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but as Bloor said in his post-match interview, the objective was to reach the Third Round of the FA Trophy – and his side delivered.