Rebels see-off St Neots in an FA Cup thriller

Omar Bugiel netted for Worthing in their FA Cup win over St.Neots Town on Tuesday
Omar Bugiel netted for Worthing in their FA Cup win over St.Neots Town on Tuesday

WORTHING Football Club booked their spot in the FA Cup third round qualifying following a fine win on Tuesday.

Rebels welcomed Southern League Premier side St.Neots Town for a second round qualifying replay.

It was far from easy in this one for Worthing, who twice fought from a goal down to force extra-time and then penalties.

Rikki Banks proved to be the hero in the shoot-out as he saved and the netted a spot-kick of his own.

With the scores level at 5-5 in sudden death, Corey Heath stepped up and fired an effort into the top corner to give his side a 6-5 success.

Rebels’ win sees them pocket £4,500 and book a third round qualifying date with Ryman North side AFC Hornchurch, which will take place at Woodside on Saturday (3pm).

Should they win that they would be just one win away from the first round proper and a potential date with Football League opposition.

It was far from plain sailing for Worthing and they fell behind on 28 minutes.

Confusion between Heath and Banks allowed Ryan Hawkins to pounce on the loose ball before rounding Rebels keeper and slotting into the empty net.

Rebels were back on level terms on 36 minutes, though, as Zack Newton slotted Omar Bugiel in and he coolly chipped over the onrushing St.Neots stopper.

It was St.Neots who took the lead for a second time on 66 minutes.

Substitute Lee Clarke was found by Tom Ward’s header and he fired home from eight yards with a bicycle kick.

Rebels were back on terms just two minutes later thanks to a 30 yard thunderbolt from Lloyd Dawes.

It finished all-square in normal time and then after 30 minutes on extra-time.

The shoot-out was a thriller with 16 penalties taken before it all came down to Heath to ensure his side progressed.

He remained composed and rifled his spot-kick into the top corner to send Rebels fans, players and staff wild.

WORTHING: Banks; Hendon, Elphick, Heath, Metcalf; Newton; Axell, O’Neill, Sparks; Bugiel; Dawes. Subs: Barnes, Cook, Quirke, Morey, Piper.

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