Worthing stand between Bath City and a place in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup this Saturday 14 October.
The Rebels overcame local rivals Eastbourne Borough and Whitehawk to reach this stage for only the second time this century. All three of their goals in this year’s competition have been scored by former Brighton forward Jake Robinson, whose stunning scorpion kick and emphatic penalty saved Worthing from an upset against Isthmian Premier Whitehawk in the Third Qualifying Round.
Manager Adam Hinshelwood is in his second spell in charge at the Sussex Transport Community Stadium after a knee injury ended his playing career at the age of 26. He led the Rebels to the Isthmian Premier title in 2022, but their hopes for a second successive promotion ended in a play-off semi-final defeat. Aided by some eye-catching signings, they started this season with five wins from six in August, but two 4-0 defeats at Braintree and Maidstone caused concern in September and they are currently without a win in three league games. A 95th minute goal from Truro’s Ryan Brett denied them success at the weekend as Worthing ended with nine men following red cards to Luca Woodhouse and Joe Felix. Captain Aarran Racine also limped off in the first half in a challenging afternoon for the Rebels.
Last season, their cup journey ended against Eastbourne Borough in the Third Qualifying Round and it’s now 24 years since Worthing appeared in Round One. On that occasion, they lost 3-0 at Rotherham United.
City’s wait for a crack at the First Round isn’t quite as long, just 12 years, but it is still the longest period in the club’s history. A stunning turnaround against Larkhall, where the Romans trailed 2-0 with 17 minutes remaining, was followed by a more straightforward success at Weymouth despite the narrow looking 2-1 scoreline, to earn this tie.
Overall Jerry Gill’s side are in great form, scoring in each of their last 18 competitive matches and only losing twice in that time. Scott Wilson has plundered 16 goals in that period and now has 25 for the calendar year. As well as scoring at Braintree last week, he was also on target in City’s league game at Worthing in March, scoring a minute after coming on as a substitute in a 3-2 success. Cody Cooke and Tom Smith also netted for Bath.
Two wins in this year’s competition have earned City £9,000 in prize money, with welcome shares of gate receipts on top. They’ll double that prize money if they progress against Worthing.
It promises to be another entertaining afternoon in what has been a flourishing season so far for the Romans. It’s another away game, but your travelling support has been crucial in our success on the road this campaign. We hope to see you there!
Who – Worthing v Bath City
When – Saturday 14 October, 3pm
Where – Sussex Transport Community Stadium