Tuesday night and another midweek game despite it being the middle of January and pretty freezing cold down on the South Coast. Part 3 of ‘El Classicoast’, Bognor vs Worthing this time in the Sussex Senior Cup Quarter Final with both sides having won in each other backyard’s during the two league fixtures.
With the hosts marooned almost in mid-table a win for them against their table topping neighbours would keep their season alive whilst a win for Worthing would keep their hunt for silverware intact.
Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood chose to give a few first team starters a breather whilst Rocks Robbie Blake fielded a decent strength side on what was crisp, cold night at Nyewood Lane.
An impeccable minute’s silence was observed by both sets of fans after the passing a few days ago of Hinshelwood’s father Paul before both sides settled down to another 90 minutes of derby football.
Reece Meekums should have given the Rebels an early lead after cutting inside the defender but blazing high and wide when well placed. Dajon Golding who was a constant thorn in the Bognor defence down the left hand side clipped the bar just after a quarter of and hour and the same player also could have given Worthing the lead but like Meekums blazed well over.
With Bognor struggling to maintain possession for long enough Worthing were trying both wings to create chances but they took the lead five minutes before half time through a midfield burst from Marvin Armstrong whose shot was followed up by Will Seager for the game’s opening goal.
Five minutes the other side of half time the hosts should have been level but Nathan Odokonyero fired wide of Harrison Male’s goal. A triple change after the hour mark from Hinshelwood saw Danny Barker, Ollie Pearce and Jessie Starkey replace Seager, Darren Budd and Dean Cox to try and force a second goal to seal the tie.
Male was called into action with 15 minutes to go, Jordy Mongoy’s effort well saved by the Rebels shot stopper and the closest the hosts came to forcing an equaliser.
Golding thought he had given Worthing a two goal cushion six minutes from time having broken beyond the Bognor back line but his effort struck the far post and away from a Rebels foot to turn the ball in.
With more attacking threat on the pitch Worthing attacked at will, breaking fast with incisive passing and got their final reward in stoppage time when Jasper Pattenden strode forward, won a challenge and motored into the penalty area and unbelievably arrowed the ball over the head of six foot plus keeper Amadou Tangara into his top right hand corner to seal the win and a place in the semi-finals for Worthing.
A crowd of 842 was on hand to witness a win that almost puts the end to Bognor’s season, currently 13 points behind 4th placed Kingstonian with a game in hand but too many draws over the course of the campaign so far leaves them needing a run of wins that look highly unlikely speaking to one or two Bognor fans on Wednesday morning.
Whilst there appears no danger of being sucked into the relegation fight, a change of personnel needs to happen if the Rocks are to challenge at the top end of the table consistently.
Attention for Worthing now turns to the title challenge they hope to sew up as soon as possible, a six point lead over nearest rivals Enfield Town with a game in hand although Folkestone Invicta with a couple of games further back than everything else can be a big threat.
Final word on the Pattenden goal, was it a shot or was it a cross? I was almost in line with it and that looked like a cross, other footage I’ve seen makes it look more like a shot, make your own mind up if you see it!
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