Worthing (0) 2 Bath City (0) 0 – Saturday 14 October 2023 – FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round – Sussex Transport Community Stadium
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Danny Cashman’s rapid double saw Worthing reach the FA Cup 1st Round for the first time this century.
Bath City were no match for the impressive hosts, who dominated throughout and were worthy winners.
It was the Romans’ first defeat in 11 games and first failure to score all season as they struggled to test Roco Rees in the home goal.
The loss added to City’s 4th Qualifying Round woes – their seventh exit at this stage in 11 years – which saw them miss out on a tie at National League North outfit Alfreton Town.
Worthing went into the game with two fit defenders in their vast squad, forcing them to field Nicky Wheeler and Kane Wills out of position as full-backs.
This reshuffle didn’t affect them as they made a bright start. Ricky Aguiar’s arrowing corner from the right saw Luke Russe’s attempted header away go awry, forcing Ollie Wright to parry the ball from danger.
City were forced into defensive changes themselves when Jordan Dyer succumbed to a hamstring injury on 20 minutes. With Jack Batten not fit enough to deputise from the bench, Elliott Frear was introduced and Joe Raynes moved to centre-half with Ewan Clark dropping from attack to full-back.
Joan Luque tried to exploit this amendment, producing three quick efforts in four minutes to try and break the deadlock.
The former Barcelona youth curled wide from 20 yards before shooting too close to Wright twice who held well when unsighted.
Having stood firm well in the first half, Jerry Gill’s side gifted an opener within five minutes of the restart.
Dan Greenslade’s needless foul on Ollie Pearce on the byline allowed Wheeler to whip in a free-kick where Joel Colbran’s header was initially blocked in the crowded box but Cashman was alert to spin and hammer home from close range.
It was Cashman’s first goal for the Rebels since joining from Coventry last month, and he only had to wait four minutes for his second.
Wheeler once again was instigator, his devilish delivery from the right saw Cashman escape Raynes to steer a volley in from six yards.
Wright smartly finger-tipped Wheeler’s lofted effort over and substitute Jake Robinson dragged inches wide after Pearce exploited a gap in the Bath defence.
Dan Hayfield curled harmlessly over Rees’ crossbar as City struggled to make inroads. Instead they nearly fell further behind on 84 minutes when Michael Klass tried an audacious lob over Wright from 35 yards but it sailed just over.
Clark came the closest to nabbing a consolation in added time when his free-kick from the edge of the box took a nick and deflected onto the roof of the net.
Referee Charles Martland called time on City’s FA Cup campaign soon after and sparked celebrations from Adam Hinshelwood’s side, sealing their first outing in round one since 1999.
City’s Line-Up: Wright, Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer (Frear 20), Parselle (c), Hayfield, Smith, Clark, Thomas (Fletcher 79), Wilson, Russe (Cooke 58). Subs not used: Batten, Forster.
Scorers: City – none; Worthing – Cashman (49, 53)
City Bookings: Parselle (45), Thomas (74)
Officials: C Martland, C Stobart, K Mayhew