Worthing Town vs. Rustington HERO

Rhodes wins Rustington Vets Cup

Words by Luke Ashbery
Worthing Town 1-3 Rustington

Jordan Rhodes starred for Rustington in their 1-3 win over Worthing Town, scoring twice in the Sussex Veteran’s Challenge Cup Final yesterday afternoon at Culver Road.

The forward ended up with a brace, with one in each half, but would have had more if it wasn’t for a string of excellent saves from the Worthing Town goalkeeper, Michael Kinkead. 

Rhodes scored the goal of the game to make it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, going around several defenders on the edge of the box before slotting home into the bottom corner past the on-rushing Kinkead.

After Tom Donnelly made it 3-0, Worthing managed to get one back in the 80th minute through Steven Bird, who rifled home on the half-volley after a Tom Paine cross fell to him on the penalty spot, and despite a couple of late scares, Rustington were able to hold on for a deserved victory. 

Rustington started the stronger and could have been 2-0 up within five minutes, with both chances falling to Rhodes, but through a mixture of good defending and good goalkeeping, Worthing were able to keep him out.

This was a sign of things to come, and Kinkead produced a brilliant save in the tenth minute, smothering Rhodes’ effort from point-blank range with the winger destined to score.

Rustington registered five shots within the first 15 minutes of the game, and it was only a matter of time before Rhodes had the opener, heading home in the 18th minute after some good work down the right wing from Szczepaniuk who managed to dig out a left-footed cross to the waiting Rhodes.

After conceding, Worthing improved, but they were only able to register two long range efforts before half-time. 

Worthing had a great chance to equalise straight from the kick-off in the second-half, with Bird picking up the ball in the box and getting a shot away, but he was denied by the Rustington keeper, Dave Evans. 

After Rhodes made it 2-0, Worthing thought they should have had a penalty when Alex Biggs went down in the box, but referee Perry Hart waved away the protests and booked Biggs for simulation.

Shortly after, in the 65th minute, Rustington had their third of the game, courtesy of a mix-up in the Worthing defence which allowed Donnelly to chase a hopeful ball over the top and bundle it past Kinkead, before tapping into the empty net. 

Rhodes had another golden opportunity for his hat-trick in the 72nd minute, after being played in with a switch of play by Donnelly, but again he was denied, this time by the legs of Kinkead. 

Worthing’s best spell of the game came in the final ten minutes, and after Bird had scored, they had two more great chances. 

The first fell to Adam Banfield after the ball landed at his feet from a corner, but his effort hit the post and was cleared behind. 

From the resulting corner, James Duffield was found at the back post unmarked, but his header looped over the bar. 

Speaking after the full-time whistle, Rustington manager, Michael Dorrington, said: “It was a tricky game that’s for sure, and we knew that going in, given how strong Worthing have been in the league all season.

“Jordan [Rhodes] was brilliant but he also could have had five or six more.

“It was great to have Tom Donnelly back and Arkadiusz Szczepaniuk up top was also very good. 

“I’d also like to shout out our backline and midfield, because they were all great for us today, and did a great job restricting Worthing the way they did.”

“Overall, I’d say It probably was the best performance of our season today, so I can’t ask for more than that!”

Worthing Town vs. Rustington
Worthing Town vs. Rustington - 07-04-24
Highlights from the Sussex Veteran's Challenge Cup Final - Powered by Your Instant Replay!

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

(Video highlights are available above and on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)

Stats (Worthing Town-Rustington): Goals (1-3), Shots (10-18), Shots on target (6-14), Corners (3-4), Fouls (9-6), Offsides (2-3), Yellow cards (3-1), Red cards (0-0).

Worthing Town: Kinkead (GK), Souch, Badley, Banfield (C), Duffield, Bird, Biggs, Risdon-Stapley, Paine, Venis, Jackson.
Subs: Martin, Chandler, Shackleton, Clarke, Dick.

Rustington: Evans (GK), Slater, Sharp, Ward, Harris (C), Rhodes, Gohler, Donnelly, Szczepaniuk, Hemsley, Sell.
Subs: Blackford, Loversidge, Storer, Lednor, Thompson.

Related Match Reports

View All