WORTHING United Football Club’s dramatic fight-back to advance in the John O’Hara Cup from a seven-goal thriller on Saturday was marred by two late red cards.
The division-higher visitors ended their three-game losing run with four second-half goals, although sendings-off for Ryan Bradley, who had netted the winner, and Jay Tidey rather took the sheen off the result for the Mavericks.
Wick took the lead against the run of play on 24 minutes, as Mark Pedrick fired home an effort that keeper Andy McCarthy should have done better with.
The remainder of the first period was all Wick & Barnham and McCarthy made amends with a decent stop from Nathan Parke but was helpless as Ash Harper robbed Jamie McLeod on the halfway line and raced through to double the hosts lead on 40 minutes.
In the second half, Jordan Matthews fumbled a Ryan Storrie cross on to Sam Blundell’s knee and it went in after just 33 seconds.
The scores were level on 55 minutes when Blundell blasted home from the edge of the area, and four minutes later the visitors took the lead as Joseph was allowed to run unchallenged across the box and score via a deflection.
Home skipper Matt Noble then equalised on 63 minutes with a volley from Sam Enicott’s pass as the game increasingly opened up.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, Bradley tapped home the winner after some good work on the right wing from Storrie once again.
The drama was not over, however, as Bradley reacted badly to Chris Salisbury’s challenge and Harper’s faux sympathy and was shown a straight red card in the final minute. Then Tidey, already on an earlier booking, dived in recklessly on Noble and saw his second yellow in the second minute of injury-time, but the visitors held on to progress.
Reaction in this week’s paper.