10-man Westies suffer extra-time cup defeat

Westfield midfielder Jake Adams tussles for possession. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Westfield midfielder Jake Adams tussles for possession. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Westfield Football Club manager Jack Stapley couldn’t hide his frustration after his team was knocked out of a county competition.

The Westies lost 4-2 after extra-time at home to Worthing Town in round two of the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup on Saturday.

Westfield’s cause wasn’t helped by having to play the final 40 or so minutes of the all-Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division Two second round tie with 10 men.

Stapley said: “We probably should’ve been out of sight by half time. 1-0 at half time absolutely flattered them. That seems to be the story of our season - missed chances and end up losing the game. And I’m not sure we deserved to be beaten.

“I’m not sure what more we could try. We don’t seem to be getting much luck at the moment. It was frustrating, but we’ve got to keep going.”

Westfield opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Sam Winter won a tackle on the edge of the home box, Jamie Gravett played a long left-footed ball over the Worthing defence and Callum Smith held off the last defender before rolling the ball past the goalkeeper.

Asher Grindle in the thick of the action.

Asher Grindle in the thick of the action.

Westfield failed to add to their tally during the rest of the first half, however, despite most of the many corners they won being met by a yellow and green shirt.

They were later made to regret that as Tom Slater brought Worthing level and Harry Cranford later put the visitors ahead from a penalty conceded by Winter, who was shown a second yellow card to boot.

Westfield hit straight back, though. Jake Adams beat the Worthing full-back and crossed for Allan McMinigal to superbly volley home from 10 yards.

McMinigal, who along with Dom McGurk was described as ‘fantastic’ by Westfield manager Jack Stapley, had a glorious chance to win it towards the end of the 90 minutes, but scuffed his shot straight at the goalkeeper when clean through.

Sam Winter challenges for an aerial ball.

Sam Winter challenges for an aerial ball.

To extra-time it went and Worthing won it thanks to a pair of goals towards the end of the additional half-hour as Westfield began to tire.

Slater put Worthing ahead with a good finish after Jamie Gravett got caught trying to play his way out. Slater completely his hat-trick barely a minute later with another penalty, which goalkeeper Connor Holland got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.

To make things worse, captain Martyn Durrant was stretchered off in a lot of pain following a bad tackle and early indications suggested possible ankle ligament damage.

Westfield: Holland, Gravett, Durrant (Hurst), McGurk, Winter, Stapley, Grindle, Adams (Barrett), C. Smith (Ramsay), R. Smith, McMinigal.

Westfield full-back Jamie Gravett blocks the path of a Worthing Town opponent.

Westfield full-back Jamie Gravett blocks the path of a Worthing Town opponent.

With Durrant injured, Winter and leading scorer Smith suspended, and Scott Ramsay unavailable, Westfield’s resources will be stretched for their third consecutive cup game this coming Saturday.

This one promises to be the toughest of the lot too as they are away to league leaders Roffey in round one of the Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division Two Challenge Cup.