Outstanding Rebels hit seven to reach play-off final
Worthing Football Club produced a devastating performance to thrash Hythe Town 7-0 in the Ryman League South Division play-off semi-finals this evening.
In front of a bumper crowd of 948, Rebels won with goals from Omar Bugiel (two), Jordan Maguire-Drew (two), Zack Newton, Gary Elphick and Ben Pope in a dominant performance.
Rebels will now host Faversham in the final on Saturday, after they won 2-1 at Dorking Wanderers this evening.
After a bright opening by both sides, it was Rebels who took the lead on ten minutes. Hythe captain James Morrish was booked for a trip on Pope and from Brannon O’Neill’s resulting free kick, Elphick’s header rebounded off the bar to Bugiel, who tapped home from a couple of yards.
Rebels almost doubled their advantage two minutes later when Pope played in Maguire-Drew but Hythe keeper Joe Mant got down well to push his low shot just past the post.
Worthing went close again on 14 minutes when Newton’s low centre was fired high and wide by Pope, who was clattered into by Mant as he shot.
Rebels’ dominance was rewarded with a second goal on 19 minutes. Bugiel’s header from O’Neill’s corner was blocked by Mant but the ball fell to Maguire-Drew and he cut in before beautifully curling a left-footed shot into the top corner from 20 yards.
Chances continued to come Worthing’s way as Bugiel fired over from the edge of the area, before Pope also blazed over from close range.
Bugiel and Maguire-Drew then had low shots stopped by Mant, before Pope’s chip landed with the fans behind the goal on 32 minutes.
Worthing again went close on 36 minutes when O’Neill’s free kick was headed inches over his own bar by Hythe’s Dave Cook, under pressure from Elphick.
Rebels should have been more than two up at the break but it took them just four minutes of the second half to go 3-0 up. Bugiel broke forward from his own half, slid Newton in and he fired through the legs of Mant.
Maguire-Drew then almost got a fourth when he drove just wide of the far post on 55 minutes, before Bugiel saw a blistering effort pushed away by Mant two minutes later.
Rebels did go 4-0 up on 59 minutes when O’Neill’s inswinging corner was bundled home at the back post by Elphick.
Hythe sub Jon Pilbeam forced an excellent save from Rebels keeper Rikki Banks on 64 minutes, before Pope went close at the other end when Mant kept out his header at full stretch.
Pope was again denied by the sprawling Mant on 74 minutes, before he got the goal he deserved five minutes later. Pope got clean through and was brought down by Nick Reeves, who was shown a straight red card as referee Michael Webb pointed to the penalty spot. Pope stepped up and sent Mant the wrong way from the spot.
Maguire-Drew got the sixth in stunning fashion when he curled a 30-yard free kick into the top corner on 82 minutes, before Bugiel got through on goal and clipped home the seventh two minutes later.
WORTHING: Banks; Hendon, Elphick, Heath, Metcalf; Newton (Piper 73), O’Neill (Axell 60), Bugiel, Sparks; Pope, Maguire-Drew. Subs: Fagan, Quirke, Edwards.
HYTHE: Mant, Hood, Burchell, Mahoney (Bottrill 63), Cloke, Reeves, Cook, Morrish (Pilbeam 60), Sawyer (Wilson 72), May, Harris. Subs: Sprosen, Walker.
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