Hassocks 2, Worthing United 0: Robins make it into third round of Sussex Senior Cup

Michael Death celebrates with goalscorer Nathan Miles. Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake
Michael Death celebrates with goalscorer Nathan Miles. Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake

For only the third time this decade, Hassocks are into the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup after a 2-0 victory over Worthing United.

We haven't even reached Halloween and yet this was already the third meeting between these two sides this season, the Robins having a 100% record over the Mavericks after a 6-3 RUR Charity Cup win and a 5-0 league success just three weeks ago.

Nathan Miles. Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake

Nathan Miles. Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake

And although the scoreline wasn't quite as convincing as on either of those occasions, second half goals from Michael Death and Nathan Miles proved enough to send Hassocks through on what was a strange afternoon at the Beacon, even by the high standards of a ground where odd things seem to occur on a frequent basis.

There were farcical scenes before kick off. Home goalkeeper James Broadbent suffered from back spasms at the end of his warm up and, with no other options available and kick off 15 minutes away, joint boss Phil Wickwar again found himself stepping into the breach for the third time this season.

That wasn't the end of the pre-game debacle either; an accident on the A27 severely delaying assistant referee Peter Coleman's arrival until 20 minutes after the game had kicked off, forcing Hassocks club official Owen John to run the line until Mr Coleman eventually turned up.

Quite remarkably, this was something that completely bypassed captain Ashley Marsh who, despite knowing Owen for approaching 15 years, failed to recognise him during the match or even in the pre-game handshake line ups.

Lewis Westlake. Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake

Lewis Westlake. Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake

Unsurprisingly given all the shenanigans before the game, it was a placid opening 45 minutes. Hassocks' front three of Ben Bacon, Miles and the returning Phil Gault were certainly the livelier of the two strike forces but time and time again they were wasteful in front of goal after fluid movement got them into some great positions.

At the other end, United summoned up one chance of note with a glancing header which Wickwar did well to tip around the post. No doubt the stand in keeper was grateful for his lack of action on the day.

It wasn't until Death was introduced early in the second half that the Robins were finally able to break the deadlock.

The striker was clearly disgruntled at the decision to rest him given his haul of three goals in his past four games and he offered the perfect response, scoring with a quite wonderful chipped effort with his left foot from a full 30 yards on the hour mark.

Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake

Action from Hassocks v Worthing United. Picture by Phil Westlake

Given the chances they had created, that could have resulted in the opening of the floodgates and perhaps it would have done were it not for the brilliance of United goalkeeper Matthew Evans who made a spectacular stop when somehow tipping Josh Hawkes' effort onto the bar.

Miles wrapped up the victory with 12 minutes remaining, a typical run from out on the left leaving several defenders in his wake to bear down on goal and score with aplomb on his 200th appearance for the club.

"We passed the ball very well in what was a decent performance," Wickwar said afterwards. "We need to be more clinical and we should have won by more but it's a good win and we're into the next round which is the main thing."

Hassocks: P Wickwar; Mills, Barnes, Marsh, Akehurst; Hawkes; J Westlake, L Westlake; Gault, Bacon, Miles.

Subs: Badger, Death (used), Bant, Tighe, Price (unused).

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