Worcester City 2-1 Greenwich Borough
FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Jonny Bonell reports from Aggborough
WORCESTER City find themselves in the FA Cup first round for the first time since 2005 thanks to a gritty 2-1 victory over Greenwich Borough today (Sunday).
Substitute Daniel Nti came to City’s rescue with a strike seven minutes before the end to send the Aggborough crowd into raptures and Worcester into the hat for tomorrow’s (Monday) draw.
Ellis Deeney had put the hosts deservedly ahead in the first half but Billy Bennett’s unlikely equaliser looked to have handed the minnows a replay on Tuesday, before Nit struck to break Greenwich hearts.
From as early as the fourth minute Worcester’s pace on the counter was evident. A Greenwich corner saw Jordan Murphy spring the counter, he burst past three men and fed Nick Wright in the box but the striker fizzed his effort past the far post.
It was all City in the early stages as the Conference North side passed it round their rivals with consummate ease and Sean Geddes flashed a shot narrowly over before Deeney’s low drive was comfortably held.
The breakthrough did come after 20 minutes and it was no surprise to see Murphy involved as his cut-back down the right found Geddes who in-turn found Deeney.
The Worcester skipper tried his luck from the edge of the box and, via a slight deflection, saw it loop over Craig Hollaway to put the hosts ahead.
They may have been pitting their wits against a side in the ninth tier of English football but some of the Blue and Whites football was to be admired and Danny Jackman cut the Borough back-line open after 24 minutes but Wright’s subsequent strike flew over the top.
A similar pattern emerged at the start of the second period as Carl Heeley’s men dominated the early possession but the intricate passing was flawed by a poor final ball as Greenwich did their best to frustrate the hosts.
With their first foray into the Worcester box the minnows shocked the Aggborough crowd and levelled things up.
A long free-kick was pumped into Vaughan’s area, the keeper came out but fumbled the ball under pressure and presented substitute Bennett with the simplest of opportunities to poke into the empty net.
Worcester’s largest crowd of the season were stunned into silence as their counterparts from three divisions below got a foothold in a game they looked dead and buried in at half time.
It was City’s game to chase and George Williams cut in from the right and hit his effort straight at Hollaway before Tyler Weir smashed a 25-yard thunderbolt which fizzed just past the angle of post and bar.
Greenwich were a side with new-found belief after their leveller and despite not testing Vaughan again, they were doing enough to unsettle Heeley’s men.
But with just seven minutes remaining Aggborough erupted when a goal-mouth scramble followed a Jackman corner and substitute Nti was on hand to slam the ball into the bottom corner from six-yards out to put Worcester back infront.
Gary Alexander had a great opportunity to snatch a dramatic equaliser in added time when he flashed a header just wide before Hollaway produced a fine stop from Wright’s half-volley as the hosts secured a spot in the first round.
To see how the game unfolded in our live blog, click here.