Spirited Rebels exit Senior Cup to Brighton

Matt Hurley made his comeback from injury on Tuesday
Matt Hurley made his comeback from injury on Tuesday

Worthing Football Club were knocked out of the Sussex Senior Cup on Wednesday evening (November 14) 2-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion at Woodside Road.

Albion, who fielded their development squad, won the second-round tie with two goals in the opening 23 minutes as their class told in the first half.

Rebels came more into the game in the second period and had a couple of opportunities to claw a goal but Brighton stood firm to comfortably progress.

The Seagulls dominated possession in the first half with their neat passing game and almost took the lead on five minutes but Daniel Akubuine’s mishit cross was well turned over the bar by back-peddling Rebels keeper JJ Banasco-Zaragoza.

Albion did go ahead on 13 minutes when Solly March laid the ball off to Torbjorn Agdestein, who has made a handful of first-team appearances for Brighton, and he drilled home a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.

George Barker doubled Brighton’s lead 10 minutes later with a volley from Anton Rodgers’ pass and he almost got his second of the night shortly afterwards but his powerful strike hit a post.

Rebels’ only real effort at goal in the first half was a well-struck Jamie Brotheron 25-yarder but it cleared the bar.

At the other end, Rodgers fizzed a shot only inches wide and Banasco-Zaragoza dived low to his left to keep out Charlie Oatway’s 25-yarder.

Rebels came more into the game in the second half as they switched to a 3-5-2 formation, from 4-5-1, and they could have got a goal back on the hour.

Luke Gedling’s shot from range was blocked and the ball fell to sub Kieron Pamment but he could only blaze over, under pressure, from eight yards.

Matt Hurley headed a Chris O’Flaherty corner over on 81 minutes, before Rebels’ Tom Lawley did well to win the ball off Matt McGiveron but then dragged his shot well wide from 15 yards.

Albion nearly added a third in the first minute of injury-time but Oatway’s shot from 10 yards was brilliantly kept out by Banasco-Zaragoza.

Kieran Collins, who is now Rebels’ joint manager with Lee Brace, said: “It’s a shame we didn’t play how we did in the second half in the first half.

“It took us too long to get into it but we played some good football in the second half.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t catch them on an off day. They gave us a lot of respect, were all up for the game and did a professional job. They are favourites in this competition every year and you can see why.

“This was a good opportunity for us to have a look at our younger players but the more important game is the league match with Hythe on Saturday.”

Defender Matt Hurley made his comeback from injury for Rebels and played the second half.

WORTHING: Banasco-Zaragoza; Metcalf, Hubert, Strong, O’Flaherty; Lawley, Kirkwood, Gedling, Kennett, Daniel; Brotherton. Subs: Hurley, Pamment (Strong, Brotherton 45), Romain (Kennett 61), Bryant, James. Att: 202.