FA Cup Second Round Qualifying
Jonny Bonell reports from Aggborough
WORCESTER City eased their way into the FA Cup third qualifying round with a confident and assured 2-0 success against minnows Holbeach United.
After United’s heroics on Saturday – which saw ‘keeper Rick Drury score an overhead kick in the 94th minute – there was to be no replica at Aggborough tonight as a goal in each half from Daniel Nti and a first for Deon Burton dashed any visiting hope.
Worcester bossed the game from start to finish and were unlucky not to win by more in the end, but two strikes were enough to book themselves a trip to Midlands’ rivals Solihull Moors.
City made no fewer than seven changes from the 1-1 draw up at Holbeach on Saturday, including handing experienced striker Deon Burton his first start in a blue and white shirt, but none of the fresh faces could inspire the hosts in a subdued opening 15 minutes which saw Nti’s shot drag wide.
If games were won on possession stats alone, Worcester would have had this replay wrapped up by the half hour mark, but instead they only had half chances from Nti and Ashley Vincent to get the Aggborough crowd excited about.
The National League North sides’ class began to show and they could have taken the lead when Sean Geddes drilled strike was acrobatically tipped behind by Rick Drury before the talented midfielder came even closer after 35 minutes when his delicate chip hit the top of the bar. Vincent blazed over the rebound.
As if Worcester needed a warning of United’s danger they were served it when Jamie Smith had to clear Tommy Treacher’s header off the line only for any hope of an unlikely Holbeach lead to be dashed less than a minute later when Nti took aim from the edge of the box and struck into the bottom corner.
There was more entertainment in the final ten minutes of the half than in the 35 which had preceded it as Gary King saw his drive palmed away by Nathan Vaughan while at the other end Geddes went close again and Burton fizzed one just past the far post.
The second half started in much the same vein as the first, with Worcester well on top as Vincent poked wide at the back post just a minute after the restart.
Despite being in full control of the game, with only a one goal lead the hosts could not afford to rest on their laurels and after 64 minutes they doubled their lead to all but book a place in the third round qualifying.
Yet more patient build up play saw Geddes whip in a dangerous ball from the right which Nti failed to connect with but Burton was on hand to smash home the loose ball from six yards out for his first Worcester goal.
It seemed a case of how many now for Carl Heeley’s and Matt Gardiner’s men as Danny Jackman clipped an effort past the far post, Alex Gudger glanced a header wide and Geddes had his strike kept out by the legs of Drury.