THE FA Cup dream is well and truly alive for Worcester City after goals from Ellis Deeney and a first for Danny Jackman secured a 2-0 victory over Leamington tonight (Tuesday).
Carl Heeley’s men scored one in each half to put the tie to bed at the second time of asking to set up a Fourth Qualifying Round tie with Greenwich Borough.
A 1-1 draw at The New Windmill Ground on Saturday had threatened to cut short Worcester’s cup joy but a dogged performance means they are now a game away from reaching the First Round proper for the first time in nearly ten years.
City made the perfect start to proceedings and took the lead after just four minutes when Connor Gater’s cross was cleared, the onrushing Deeney had his first drive blocked but the skipper took control of the second ball and fired into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
After a slow start from the visitors they grew in confidence at the mid-way point in the half and both Richard Batchelor and Matt Dodd’s were guilty of firing wildly past Nathan Vaughan’s upright when well placed.
Buoyed by his goal on Saturday, Nick Wright was a fraction away from bagging two in two when Deeney headed Jackman’s corner back across goal and the former Kidderminster Harriers man flashed his volley from the corner of the six-yard box just wide.
Vaughan had to be on his guard with nine minutes of the first period remaining as Dan Newton tried to replicate his goalscoring antics from the weekend but the strikers drive from the edge of the area was tipped behind by Worcester’s stopper.
As with the first half, Heeley’s men couldn’t have wished for a better start to the second 45 as they doubled their lead within two minutes.
George Williams got to the byline on the right-hand side and set up a perfect cross for Jackman who charged into the box and glanced a perfect header into the roof of the net to bag his first for his hometown club.
Paul Holleran’s men tested Vaughan for the first time in the second half after 52 minutes when Jacob Rowe’s defensive header dropped kindly to Jack Edwards but the midfielders stinging drive was gathered comfortably by Worcester’s number one.
As the game became more stretched Jacob Rowe headed narrowly over for the Blue and Whites before Dodd saw his deflected effort sail just past the post.
An uneasy moment did follow minutes later for Vaughan when Brakes skipper Stephan Morley let fly from fully 30-yards, the ball zipped off the surface in front of him with the shot-stopper having to make an unconventional save to palm it behind.
Any confidence lost in that incident was certainly regained by Vaughan with 16 minutes to go as he produced a magnificent fingertip stop to deny Newton bagging himself back-to-back cup goals.
Substitute Aron Wint headed straight at Vaughan and James Fry had his header ruled out in added time as the visitors pushed for a grand stand finale but ultimately Worcester held on to secure their place in the next round.
To see how the game unfolded in our live blog, click here.