WORTHING Football Club have sealed their spot in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, and have been handed a home tie with Kent League Beckingham Town.
Rebels overcame Ryman League Division 1 North high-flyers Chatham 1-0 on Saturday, thanks to Jamie Brotherton’s 35th-minute header and a formidable showing from keeper Alan Mansfield.
They now host surprise package Beckingham Town on October 1. While, on paper, it looks like a decent draw for Worthing, the Kent League side have seen off both Walton Casuals and Met Police at home in previous rounds, with 3-1 and 4-2 wins respectively.
Rebels boss Chris White said: “It won’t be an easy game by any means. Although we have got a home draw, which we wanted, and one against a team in a league below, we will have to be at our best to beat them.”
On Saturday, he added: “They came out in the second half and gave it a good go, we were under pressure for most of it.
“But we defended exceptionally well, Alan Mansfield was outstanding in goal and we saw it out, which was pleasing after last Wednesday, and I am delighted to be in the next round.”
Worthing were clearly not at their best on Saturday, some of which could have been down to the long trip and work-rate needed in the Folkestone game last Wednesday.
Chatham gave them early scares with a couple of long-range efforts that Alan Mansfield was equal to.
Unmarked Brotherton nodded home from John Lansdale’s long throw after Ryan McBride caused problems in the area to give Worthing a half-time lead.
Mansfield was much the busier keeper at the start of the second half, and was called into early action by Brad Potter and Matt Solly.
The returning Steve Metcalf went closest to extending Rebels’ lead with an effort that flew just wide, although Mansfield continue to make a string of saves.
Maybe in past seasons Rebels would have crumbled late on, but the defence stood strong, as Mansfield continued to prove the difference with another close-range save as Rebels held on.
Worthing host Ramsgate on Saturday as they return to league action, although they will be without striker Ryan McBride who is unavailable. White is hopeful Tom Manton will have recovered from illness, while good news is that Steve Davies does not have Gilmores Groin, although is still not fully fit.
Rebels beat County League Division 1 side Lancing 4-1 in a friendly on Tuesday evening.
WORTHING: Mansfield; Piper, Hurley, Woodburn, Metcalf; Brotherton, Lansdale, Budd, Manton, Lawley; McBride. Subs: Murphy (Brotheron 85), Gedling (Lansdale 78), Pulling (McBride 73), Franks, T.Timms, Charles.
l Worthing’s youth team progressed past Shoreham in the FA Youth Cup 1-0 on Monday. Tom McLeod scored the only goal in the first half, while Rebels keeper Jack Fagan was his side’s man of the match in front of a three-figure crowd.
Worthing entertain Leatherhead in the next round on October 3.