Rebels frustrated by cup postponement

Rebels joint manager Gary Elphick
Rebels joint manager Gary Elphick

WORTHING Football Club’s FA Cup second qualifying round replay at home to St Neots was postponed on Tuesday, after the away side’s coach got a puncture en route to the game.

The teams had drawn 1-1 in Cambridgeshire on Saturday and the replay at Woodside Road was called off just past 7pm on Tuesday, after the St Neots coach got a puncture on the M25 near Brentwood.

At one time, the match was set to kick-off at 9pm but, with St Neots’ best estimated arrival time at Worthing of 8.50pm, the game was postponed and will now take place on Tuesday.

Rebels joint boss Gary Elphick said: “It was very frustrating and I’ve never come across anything like this in my career before where a team hasn’t turned up.

“We tried to give them as much time as possible to make it, with a later kick-off time, but they still weren’t going to get here in time.

“It’s just one of those things but it was really disappointing as everyone was looking forward to the game. We’re going to have a backlog of league fixtures now and that’s not something we deserve.”

The winners of the tie will entertain Ryman League North Division side AFC Hornchurch in the third qualifying round on October 10.

Elphick said: “It’s a huge incentive for both teams to win the replay, with another home game. For us, it’s a team who play at the same standard as us and you can’t ask for any more than that. Cup games are all about who turns up on the day, though, and we’ve got a massive game against St Neots first.”

Rebels are away to Whitstable in the FA Trophy on Saturday and Elphick is keen for his side to begin the game well.

He said: “We haven’t played our best when we’ve had long journeys to a couple of games this season. We lost the opening game at Corinthian Casuals and then didn’t start well at Carshalton, before we got going in the second half and got a great result.

“We’ll go there and look to grind out a result.”

Callum Overton, who is cup-tied for FA Cup matches, could return to Rebels’ squad. Only Jack Fagan, who is on loan to Chichester, and the injured Tony Nwachukwu are unavailable.

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