OAs send Worthing down with victory at Woollams

Holmes touches down under the posts

Holmes touches down under the posts - Credit: Archant

Worthing’s survival in this league depended to a great extent on the result of this contest and for a tantalising hour, in football parlance, the game could have gone either way, writes Brian Quinn.

The visitors eventually conceded but not before a momentous effort , especially by the abrasive Charlie McGowan in attack and Kiba Richards in defence.

Albanians were reasonably satisfied with their build up in the early stages of the game particularly since the lineout, somewhat wayward of late, was once more producing regular good possession. The tight scrum remained untroubled all afternoon. However the finishing of promising moves left a little to be desired in the first half.

Danny Holmes and Billy Johnson both made serious inroads through a stubborn defence but neither effort could be completed successfully.

Both sides almost broke through several times in the first period without troubling the scorer and it fell to Joe Govett to open the Worthing account on half an hour with the game’s first penalty. Lawrence Rayner, making a welcome return after his injury, replied in kind just before the break, making up for an earlier miss.

After the break Albanian pressure mounted steadily and Rayner put his side into the lead seven minutes into the second period with a smart drop goal. Mike Allen improved matters for A’s crossing in the left corner nine minutes later. His effort was matched by Liam Perkins almost immediately.

The game probably went from Worthing’s grasp when Richard Gregg stretched imperiously by the right corner flag just into the final quarter. Rayner’s conversion missed but he succeeded with his second penalty moments later.

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Crucially McGovan saw yellow with just over ten minutes left and Danny Holmes scored after his captains inspired break. Allen then crossed for his second, giving Albanians their bonus point, Rayner converting both.

With minutes left and the job seemingly done Albanians relaxed and this allowed Jack Maslen and Perkins, again, to narrow the gap for Worthing; but too much damage had been done.

Albanians face Cinderford in a rearranged fixture on Easter Saturday. The visitors won when A’s visited the Forest of Dean and they will be desperate to climb above either Henley or Loughborough and haul themselves out of the relegation zone. It will be a tough game. Kick-off 3pm.