St Neots Town FC 1 : 1 Worthing FC
FAC Second Round Qualifying
St Neots Town FC 1 : 1
Worthing FC
Saturday 26 September, 2015 15:00

FA Cup Second Round Qualifying

ST NEOTS TOWN  1 - 1  WORTHING               

17 years old Luis Vieira making only his third senior appearance for his Club this season kept St Neots FA Cup ambitions alive winning a replay on Tuesday at Worthing with a second half equaliser. 

Coming on as a substitute for Gui Mailancol he netted through a crowded penalty area after his side had trailed at the break. St Neots struggling with a mounting injury list with four senior players still side-lined and Brett Longden suspended, did enough to merit their second chance dominating possession but finding the Worthing rear-guard hard to penetrate.  

A changed line up saw Andrew Wilton back in goal now that Danny Gay has departed for pastures new, Matt Mitchel-King failed to recover from his midweek injury to be replaced in midfield by on loan Isaac Galliford but there was some good news with Nathan Frater returning from injury in the place of Vieira.  

Worthing who play in the Ryman League South proved a hardworking side dangerous on the break but they only created a handful of chances whilst St Neots failed to take their multitude of better chances partly due to an inspired performance from the visiting goalkeeper.

Worthing created the first chance as Omar Bugiel tested Wilton with a low shot but apart from fielding crosses the St Neots keeper was seldom tested in the first 45 minutes.  

Ryan Hawkins swept a Tom Meechan cross wide and then was robbed when visiting keeper Rikki Banks dived bravely at his feet after 21 minutes but St Neots were labouring in attack against a well organised defence.  

Hawkins set up Gui Mailancol but his fierce shot was well blocked by a defender and then St Neots thought they should have has a penalty when Meechan rounded the final defender to cross but a second defender arriving late appeared to handle the ball but the unsighted Referee waved play on.  

St Neots won a host of corner kicks well defended by the visitors and the first half looked to be ending goalless until time added for injury.  

Then Omar Bugiel broke into the St Neots penalty area and Tom Ward’s challenge was judged to be unfair and the Referee controversially booked the St Neots defender and awarded a penalty confidently converted by Brannon O’Neill to give Worthing a surprise half time lead.

St Neots looked very determined from the restart and after they had ridden an early scare when Ben Pope beat the offside trap but Wilton did well to smother his shot the home side really began to dominate possession. 

A shot by Ryan Hawkins after 54 minutes was blocked on the goal line following a Jack Wilkinson corner and then a careless clearance by Banks hit Hawkins but rebounded back into the safety of the keepers’ arms.  

It was time for a change and after 54 minutes the irrepressible Luis Vieira came on to replace the out of sorts Mailancol with Hawkins moving wide left.  

Vieira was soon harrying the visiting defence and after 65 minutes St Neots thought they had levelled when Meechan netted following a Hawkins free kick but a colleague had strayed offside and a free kick awarded.  

Five minutes later after another testing Wilkinson corner Worthing failed to clear and Vieira joyfully claimed his first senior goal of the season.  

St Neots should have gone on to win from that point but their two best late chances saw Meechan brought down from behind but no penalty awarded and a late Ward header flew harmlessly over the bar from a Galliford corner.  

There was some concern when Wilkinson limped off injured to be replaced by Claudio Ofosu - another teenage debutant - and it will be a race to get him fit for the midweek replay in Sussex.

St Neots: Wilton, Anton, Wilkinson, Tann, Ward, Hall, Frater, Galliford, Meechan, Hawkins, Mailancol

Subs: Vieira (for Mailancol 54), Ofosu (for Wilkinson 75), Burton, Hobbs, Berkes and Jeckells.

Cards:  Ward (Y – 45 + 1), Frater (Y – 48)

Goals:  Vieira (70 mins)

Worthing: Banks, Hendon, Metcalfe, Axell, Elphick, Heath, Dawes, O’Neill, Pope, Bugiel, Sparkes

Subs:  Morey (for Dawes 75 mins), Barnes, Buckland, Quirke, Newton and Piper.

Cards:  Pope (Y – 56)

Goals:  O’Neill – pen (45 +1 mins)

 Attendance: 342

Referee: Nicholas Cooper (Ipswich)

John Walker