Worthing progress past Tonbridge Angels on penalties

Alex Parsons. Picture by Marcus Hoare
Alex Parsons. Picture by Marcus Hoare

Worthing progressed past Tonbridge Angels 3-2 on penalties in the Velocity Trophy last night after a 1-1 draw at Woodside Road.

Liam King put Tonbridge ahead but Sam Rents equalised in the second half to send the match to spot-kicks.

A fantasic performance from Worthing keeper Kleton Perntreou kept the Reds in it until sudden death, before Alex Parsons hit the winner.

Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood made four changes from Saturday’s draw at AFC Hornchurch, with Ricky Aguiar, Jared Rance, Rhyle Ovenden, and Callum Kealy all starting.

By the sixth minute Tonbridge had the ball in Worthing’s net but Sonny Miles was judged offside after heading on for Craig Stone to finish.

The Reds responded immediately, with Parsons lashing a shot at the visitors’ post after a great ball from Aguiar.

The early rush of chances soon gave way to a midfield-heavy slog of a match, with both side's defences looking solid.

That drought ended when Tonbridge went ahead in the 38th minute, King firing into the bottom corner from Adem Ramaden’s cross.

Worthing's attack looked a little more energetic after the break and James Crane had a shot blocked from close-range after Kealy played him in.

Will Miles then had his blushes spared, goalscorer King taking a heavy touch out of play after nabbing the ball from the defender. But Miles then responded well, clearing a Jared Small effort from the line.

A spectacular Sam Rents goal then pulled the Reds level on 67 minutes, the left-back powering home a shot from outside the box that Henly could not stop.

Substitute David Ajiboye almost put the Reds 2-1 up, beating three defenders and firing high - but not high enough to evade Henly’s hands.

Meekums then ran half the length of the pitch before backheeling to Kealy, but the Australian’s shot was blocked.

Going into the final five minutes Worthing had a flurry of chances but could not find a winner and the match went to penalties.

Rents, Crane, and finally Parsons all converted their penalties to send Worthing into the third round - although Meekums controversially had a penalty ruled out, with the referee adjudging the ball did not cross the line.

The Reds will play Merstham in the next round of the Velocity Trophy.

Worthing: Perntreou, Parsons, Rents (c), Ovenden, Crane, Miles (Barker), Newton, Aguiar, Kealy, Meekums, Rance (Ajiboye). Subs: Barker (Miles), Starkey, Clarke, Ajiboye (Rance), Skerry. Att: 296.

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