Worthing progress past local rivals Burgess Hill in FA Trophy
Worthing progressed past local rivals Burgess Hill in the FA Trophy this evening with a 2-1 victory in an entertaining game at Woodside Road.
Goals from Sam Rents and Ollie Pearce, who was later stretchered off, took Worthing through in a match full of chances at both ends.
Worthing will bank Â£3,250 prize money for the win and host Chesham United in the second qualifying round on November 10.
Tonight's match was the third time the teams have met this season. The 1-1 draw on Saturday brought the replay and the sides had drawn 0-0 at Woodside Road in the league in August.
Worthing made three changes from Saturday with Rents, Darren Budd and Jesse Starkey - playing for the first time since returning to the club - coming in for Rhyle Ovenden, Callum Kealy and Jazz Rance.
Burgess Hill also made three changes as Billy Barker, brother of Worthing midfielder Danny, Andre McCollin and Henry Watson came in for Tom Cadman, Gary Charman and Kieron Pamment, whose 79th-minute equaliser on Saturday forced the replay.
The Hillians almost made a flying start as McCollin fizzed a 25-yarder only just wide of Kleton Perntreou's left-hand post.
It was Worthing who struck first though as they went ahead after only four minutes. Burgess Hill defender James Richmond was booked for tripping Starkey 20 yards out and Rents curled a lovely free kick over the wall and into the top corner.
Worthing twice went close to doubling their lead as David Ajiboye saw a shot from Starkey's deep cross pushed away by Josh James and Richmond then cleared Alex Parsons' low cross from virtually on the goal line with James Crane waiting to tap home.
The Hillians drew level on 23 minutes when McCollin span past Budd and hit an unstoppable 25-yard strike just inside the near post.
Rents curled another free kick wide before Worthing went back ahead on 34 minutes. The hosts broke quickly down the right and Parsons' low cross was turned home by Pearce from close range.
Burgess Hill responded well and McCollin hit a free kick into the Worthing wall, Pat Harding had a shot from seven yards deflected wide and Perntreou then superbly dived high to his right to keep out Richmond's powerful header.
The visitors kept pressing for an equaliser before half-time and after Worthing gave the ball away, McCollin was denied by Perntreou and Will Miles blocked Aaron Smith-Joseph's follow-up.
Chances continued to come and go for Burgess Hill in the second half. McCollin had a golden chance to level on 46 minutes when he got through on goal but poked wide of the far post from 15 yards with just Perntreou to beat.
The Hillians had the ball in the back of the net on 53 minutes when Perntreou dallied on the ball and was shoulder-barged over by Ben Pope, who tapped the ball home into the empty net but referee Shelby Eason somewhat harshly called a foul against the Burgess Hill striker.
Worthing lost Pearce to what looked a nasty injury just before the hour when the striker landed awkwardly and was stretchered off after a few minutes of treatment. Callum Kealy came on in his place.
Ajiboye went close to a third for Worthing when he sent a shot just wide of the far post from 18 yards on 66 minutes and then had a back-heeled effort kept out by James.
Worthing again went close on 73 minutes when Parsons turned Starkey's cross wide at the back post, before Starkey had an effort kept out by James six minutes later.
Ajiboye had the ball in the back of the net late on but it was ruled out after the ball bounced up and struck the Worthing forward's arm before he side-footed home.
That was the last of the chances as Worthing held on to reach the second qualifying round.
WORTHING: Perntreou; Parsons, Crane, Budd, Rents, Miles, Ajiboye, D.Barker, Pearce (Kealy 61), Clarke, Starkey. Subs: Relf, Aguiar, Ovenden, Skerry.
BURGESS HILL: James; B.Barker, Diallo, Wilson, Richmond, Watson, McCollin (Franzen-Jones 76), Harding, Pope, Beck, Smith-Joseph (Castanho 56). Subs: Bennett, Fisk, Bromage, Hatton.