Wick sunk by early strikes in cup final

Action from Worthing United v Wick & Barnham on Monday
Action from Worthing United v Wick & Barnham on Monday
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WICK & BARNHAM United Football Club were sunk by two early goals in their County League Division 2 Cup final defeat to Worthing United on Monday.

Mavericks’ win saw them complete the double, after they had been crowned Division 2 champions in March.

For a showpiece final between these two promoted powerhouses, a highly entertaining encounter was widely expected but the contest was low on quality.

Mavericks were victorious with two goals in a two-minute spell early in the first half.

Wayne Joseph, who scored both goals in Mavericks’ 2-1 win over Mile Oak in the semi-final, put the champions ahead in the 14th minute. It was a scruffy strike entirely in keeping with what was to follow as the winger’s harmless looking daisy cutter took an unfortunate bobble and crept in under Wick keeper Mark Pedrick.

Worthing United doubled their lead inside a minute when Sam Blundell latched onto a through ball and slotted in from the edge of the penalty area for his 29th goal of a prolific season.

Mavericks’ Jacob Schilt then had a strike chalked out for offside and Blundell’s swivel and volley off the bar was a rare moment of quality.

Wick were unable to muster even a sniff of a chance in response. The closest they went was through substitute Joe Matthews, who lashed a shot across goal from a tight angle on the hour mark.

That was the last action of a substandard final and, for Wick boss Jon Tucker, it was a disappointing way to go out as the club’s manager.

He will now leave the Crabtree Park side to take over as Pagham boss and said: “It was very frustrating and disappointing from us and not how I wanted my job here to end. We didn’t do ourselves justice and I felt that three or four of our players weren’t up for it today.

“Credit to Worthing United, they’re a good side and, having told the players to keep it tight and not concede early, they scored twice in a minute and then it’s an uphill struggle.

“Their first goal was maybe a bit fortunate and we lost Ash Harper to injury as well, who’s our top scorer, so everything that could go wrong did go wrong, really.

“However, if you had offered me a top-three finish, promotion and a cup final at the start of the season, I definitely would have taken it. Our season as a whole has been excellent but it’s a shame we couldn’t finish it with a trophy.”

WICK: Pedrick; Urquhart, Parsons, Bagyura, Cox; Enticott, Playle-Howard, Noble, Hardwell; Harper, Chick. Subs: Hutchings (Harper 63), Dobbs (Enticott 76), Joe Matthews (Hardwell 80), Ebling, Redman.