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Extra-Time heartbreak for Worthing sees Albion progress

Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 Worthing (AET)

Brighton & Hove Albion have qualified for the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup final in front of a bumper crowd of 946 at Culver Road, triumphing over 10-man Worthing in extra time.

Despite Brighton being the favourites, Worthing started the game well, and had the first chance of the game nine minutes in when Ollie Pearce latched onto a ball that had been spilt by Brighton keeper, Hugo Keto, but his shot hit Keto and ballooned over the crossbar for a corner.

Taylor Richards had Brighton’s first clear-cut opportunity 33 minutes in, when he played a nice one-two with Romaric Yapi on the right wing and dribbled into the box, but his shot across the goal was saved by a diving Fagan, who was in for Carl Rushworth who couldn’t play against his parent club.

With only two minutes to go before the half, Worthing had a chance to take the lead, as Reece Myles-Meekums made a good run to take it to the edge of the box, but he failed to hit the target.

Brighton came out of the break strong, dominating possession, but were still unable to carve out many clear-cut chances.

The Seagulls looked like they could have the go-ahead goal in the 55th minutes as Peter Gwargis took the ball past two defenders on the left side of the box, but the ball got caught in his feet before he could make anything come of 
his run.

Worthing also had a chance to take the lead, when, twenty minutes Ricky Aguiar fired a shot from 30 yards out that did enoughto trouble the keeper.

The Mackerel Men broke the deadlock from the following corner. Myles-Meekums nodded the cross into the back of the net from close range, sending the away fans behind the goal wild.

However, it only took the home side five minutes to respond, as Lorent Tolaj levelled the scores with a wonderful strike into the top corner from the edge of the box

Minutes after Brighton got their equaliser, Fagan was caught in possession by Yapi, who thought he had an easy goal, but Alfie Young did phenomenally well to get back and clear the shot off the line.

However, all it did was delay the inevitable, as the Seagulls took the lead from the subsequent corner when Haydon Roberts latched onto the loose ball and directed it into the bottom right corner.

Worthing got back into it minutes later though, as Aarran Racine headed another corner past Keto to make it all square with only 13 minutes of regulation time to play.

With only four minutes of normal time to play, Young forced the referee to show him the red card after he brought Yapi down, who was through on goal with just the keeper to beat.

Despite being a man short, the away team had one last chance to win it in 90 from a corner, but it was comfortably dealt with by the Brighton defence, sending the game to extra time.

In the extra 30 minutes, Brighton dominated possession, relishing the benefit of the extra man, but all that resulted in the first half was a handful of corners and half-chances.

However, in opening minute of the final 15, Shannon Ruth’s side got the goal that sent them to the Amex, as Teddy Jenks’ shot took a big deflection and rolled past Fagan into the bottom right corner.

Worthing tried to push on for the remaining 14 and get the goal that would send it to penalties, but Brighton did well to prevent them creating any real chances and deservedly kept hold of their place in the final.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

Stats: (Brighton-Worthing)
Goals: 3-2; Shots: 17-11; Shots-on-Target: 9-5; Corners: 11-7; Offsides: 5-0; Fouls: 11-10; Bookings: 2-1; Red Cards: 0-1

Brighton: Keto, Davies, Cochrane, Jenks, O’Hora, Roberts, Yapi Davies, Tolaj, Richards, Gwargis
Subs: Spong, Desbois, Leonard, Packham, Wilson

Worthing: Fagan, Colbran, Barker, Racine, Young, Myles-Meekums, Aguiar, Starkey, Pearce Stevens, Pattenden
Subs: Mthunzi, Linden-Gardener, Budd, Armstrong, Hunt

Match Report by Sam Carroll

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