AFC Sudbury put higher-league Worthing to the sword in the FA Trophy
For the second time this season AFC Sudbury got the better of higher-league opposition to march on in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
Two weeks ago it was Harrow Borough who fell foul of the Yellows, while today it was Worthing – a side currently in the BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division play-offs – that were beaten 4-1 on their own patch by Mark Morsley's impressive side.
The Step 4 visitors – playing in their changed all blue strip – created the first meaningful chance of the contest after eight minutes. Picking up possession in the centre of the pitch, Reece Harris drove forward and then threaded a pass out wide to the left for Billy Holland.
His first-time cross tempted Worthing's England Under-19 international Carl Rushworth off his line, but he was beaten to the ball by a leaping Sean Marks, only for his header to drift just over of an empty net.
Nevertheless, the deadlock was broken 11 minutes later when a ricochet dropped kindly for Harris, who strode forward confidently before showing good composure to slot his low shot inside the far post.
And within four minutes the AFC lead had been doubled. Harrison swung over a corner from the left wing towards the back post, where Baris Atlintop rose highest to nod in from six yards out.
Not content with a two-goal advantage, Sudbury set about scoring a third before the break and they went very close on a couple of occasions through Holland and Marks.
The former saw his rising 25-yard effort turned behind by a diving Rushworth while the latter's poked shot was thwarted by the goalkeeper from point-blank range.
However, within three minutes of the restart a moment to forget for Rushworth provided Sudbury with the third goal they had been striving for.
A sweeping AFC move saw Marks – on the turn – play Harrison into the clear. The playmaker will have been disappointed with the power he managed to generate in his left-footed shot, but the ball still managed to squirm under the Brighton & Hove Albion loanee and trickle over the line.
After that it was all about game management for AFC, who would have passed that test with flying colours were it not for Worthing skipper Joel Colbran's 78th-minute volley from a corner.
That reduced the arrears, but fittingly it was the away side that had the final say on proceedings deep into the stoppage time when Liam Bennett scampered down the right and into the box, cut inside and them slammed in a left-footed shot.
The draw for the third round qualifying – a stage Sudbury have now reached for the seventh time in their history – will take place on Monday lunchtime, with ties to be played on Saturday, November 23.
AFC: Walker, Bennett, Whight, Hammett, Grimwood, Altintop, Harris (O'Malley 65), Holland, Marks (Dettmar 71), Harrison (King 82), Maycock
Free Press Man of the Match – Billy Holland: So many contenders for this award but the midfielder stood out. He pressed well and rarely wasted possession. Also unlucky not to score with an effort from distance.
More by this authorLiam Apicella