Worthing 3-5 Crawley
Sussex Mens Open League Division 2
Crawley roared to victory for the second time this year, in a game which saw Captain Kane only launch one or two aerials.
The Men's 2nd XI were missing several key players for the trip to Worthing - Ollie Robinson (work), Alex Coote (at the beach), Priyash Patel (India), Ian Berry (climbing a mountain) and Scott Mansfield (trains). A squad of 12 travelled down amid conditions which could only be described as a Scottish summer - grey, baltic and raining.
Captain Kane's tactical tombola has thrown up a few surprises this season, none perhaps more so unusual than putting Thomas Mackintosh at centre back. Scott Gibbons and gary marlow provided the Southern Rail pace on the wings, while Jimmy Fuller and Theo hillman had the task of scoring more goals than the defence would inevitably leak.
It did not take long for that defence to burst, the Worthing forward managed to get the ball, drive into the D and fire a shot across Chris Rockingham for 1-0 - this defensive error was not Thomas' fault.
Not disheartened, Crawley were soon level via gary marlow’s usual attacking prowess.
Another defensive error led to a second Worthing player putting the home side up - also not Thomas' fault. Throughout the first-half Crawley were by far the better team and created more clear-cut chances. Theo hillman managed to blaze the ball over from a few yards out, when it seemed easier to score a back post tap in. The score stayed at 2-1 until half-time.
No Alex Coote, so no Jelly Babies. Luckily, through the "club sweets fund" some Percy Pigs were purchased and subsequently consumed during half-time. Fresh from the team talk, Crawley pulled level again when Theo reacted quickest, somehow, to fire a reverse shot over the line.
The game continued to flow from end-to-end, and it was Worthing who re-took the lead again through another defensive error, perhaps this one was Thomas'. Rockers did well to prevent Crawley falling further behind when he managed to produce a Tom Daley dive to keep out a goal-bound shot which had deflected off Chris Hards' stick.
As with the first half, Crawley began to create more chances the best of which fell to Marlow who saw an effort clip the woodwork. However, Crawley were not to be outdone and as the game wore on they were rewarded with three goals in the final twelve minutes. Great work by Marlow down the right saw a scramble in the box where Theo pounced to tap in the equaliser.
With eight minutes to go Scott Gibbo tucked a reverse stick shot under the Worthing keeper to put Crawley 4-3 up, and in the dying seconds of the game Fuller capped off a fine performance with a blissful strike - one which the RMT Union would be proud of.
Team: Rockers, Simon Teale, chris hards, jack lyon, will doherty, tom mackintosh, Kane Paterson, Liam Mulcahy, gary marlow (1), Scott Gibbons (1), James Fuller (1), Theo hillman (2)