Stunning fightback not enough as Worthing exit FA Trophy

Worthing Football Club foughtback from two goals down - but that was not enough to prevent them exiting the FA Trophy this evening.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 10:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 10:28 pm
Sam Rents netted in Worthing's FA Trophy defeat this evening. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Efforts in each half from Craig McAllister and Dean Beckwith - then a Adam May strike in extra-time - helped National League Sutton United to a 3-2 second-round replay success at Gander Green Lane.

Having gone two goals behind, Sam Rents and a Lloyd Dawes penalty - both in the final 20 minutes - forced extra-time.

After finding a way back into it, Worthing's hearts were broken as May fired home the winner after 101 minutes, as two-division higher U's edged a five-goal thriller.

Following a quiet opening ten minutes, Brannon O'Neill's 30-yard dipping volley had Ross Worner in the home side's goal concerned, before landing on the roof of the net.

Worthing were soaking up what Sutton threw at them and looking probing in attack. Harvey Sparks' whipped ball teased Omar Bugiel but he couldn't get a telling touch on 21 minutes.

Having withstood the home side's advances, Worthing fell behind on the half-hour. Ben Jefford's delivery was cleverly clipped home by former Crawley striker Craig McAllister from the edge of the area.

The visitors responded well after going a goal down and had a decent opening four minutes later. Simon Downer's clearing header went as far as Bugiel on the edge but he drilled a left-foot drive just wide.

Worthing then thought they had levelled five minutes before the break, Corey Heath prodded home Gary Elphick's knock down after a Brannon O'Neill corner, only for referee Constatine Hatzidakis to rule it our for an adjuged foul.

Matt Tubbs then twice had opportunities to double Sutton's lead on 42 minutes. Worthing failed to clear a corner, with Tubbs first seeing a strike cleared on the line by O'Neill, before blazing over at the second time of asking.

Sloppy play from Sutton allowed Bugiel a chance to break five minutes after the restart. He slipped in Sparks, whose shot was saved by Worner, then Bugiel's rebound kept out aswell.

Worthing were made to pay for failing to make the most of that opportunity five minutes later. Dean Beckwith's flicked header found Tubbs, he then passed back to Beckwith, who curled a fine effort past Jack Fagan from the edge of the area.

Bugiel forced a way through following a rampaging run 20 minutes from time but Worner got down low to parry his fierce drive away.

Worthing then had hope 17 minutes from time, substitute Luke Brodie curled a fantastic cross for Rents to slot past Worner.

With time running out and Worthing looking like heading out of the FA Trophy, Elphick was upended in the area two minutes into stoppage-time and a penalty was awarded. Dawes crashed his spot-kick straight down the middle to force extra-time.

Worthing had all the momentum in the extra 30 minutes, with Dawes seeing a drive parried away by Worner, then he failed to take a Sparks cross in his stride.

Jack Fagan somehow clawed out a Dan Fitchett header ten minutes into extra-time, before Sutton went ahead once again less then a minute later. With Elphick down injured, May's 25-yard drive found it's way into the bottom corner.

Worthing kept pushing in the second half of extra-time, with substitute Sam lemon heading over late on, but Sutton held onto to a seal a date with fellow National League side Boreham Wood in round three.

WORTHING: Fagan; Boiling, Heath, Elphick, Rents; Dawes, Edwards, O'Neill, Wills, Sparks, Bugiel. Subs: Brodie (O'Neill, 66), Belward, Lemon Edwards, 105), Watson (Elphick, 103), Wollard.