Ten-man Worthing earn FA Cup replay after late Meekums strike

Burgess Hill Town v Worthing. Picture by Marcus Hoare
Burgess Hill Town v Worthing. Picture by Marcus Hoare

Worthing manager Adam Hinshelwood applauded his side’s ‘scrap and fight’ attitude after another late goal saw Worthing snatch a draw and send their FA Cup second qualifying round tie with St Albans City to a replay.

Reece Myles-Meekums 96th-minute equaliser sent ten-man Worthing into delirium as they prolonged their FA Cup stay for at least one more 90-minute showdown.

Joe Iaciofano pounced on a deflection off Roco Rees to put the home side in front before Worthing hit back after half-time when Ollie Pearce’s well-weighted cross found a diving Joel Colbran who headed home a deserved equaliser.

But St Albans quickly regained the lead through Andronicos Georgiou’s nestled, low drive and the game looked lost when Worthing were reduced to ten men after Joe Tennent was shown a second yellow card.

However, Meekums’ dramatic, late flourish was enough to ensure both sides would have to do it all again at The Bibby Financial Services Stadium just two days later.

After another extraordinary finish - already the fourth game the Mackerel Men have settled in the final five minutes this season - Hinshelwood was pleased with how his squad dealt with the game, but felt they could have deserved more.

He said: “We got into the box on a few occasions without working the goalkeeper but I am pleased with how we played. There wasn’t much in the game at all, and we responded well to come back and score the equalisers. You look at the amount of times we got into the penalty box of the opposition away from home, and you have to be a bit disappointed to only draw.

“We’ve got to make more of the opportunities when they present themselves, especially against the top teams. They hit us like a sucker-punch with a goal, but it was against the run of play at that time. Full credit to the players because it’s very easy to feel sorry for yourself when it’s like that. They never know when they’re beaten and constantly try and scrap and fight to get a result.”

Following the outcome of Tuesday night’s replay, Worthing will next face Kingstonian at home in the league.

Worthing: Rees, Colbran, Jones, Barker, Armstrong, Tennent, Dawes (Doughty 66’), Aguiar, Pearce (Ayoola 84’), Myles-Meekums, Starkey. Unused: Pattenden, Edwards, Mendoza, Long, Stephens