Worthing Raiders 53
THE formbook was never in any danger of an upset as National League Two South leaders Worthing extended their advantage at the top with a comfortable win over a much-changed Lydney side.
The Raiders were always in control and opened the scoring after seven minutes, Alex Nielsen grabbing the first of his two tries. Opposite wing Jack Maslen scorched in straight from the restart as the pace of the home backs wreaked havoc in the Lydney rearguard.
Tony Wicks missed a penalty and Lydney were soon further behind as their scrum cracked under pressure and conceded a penalty try after 14 minutes as the referee punished a first offence by the pack.
Maslen then raced in for his second and the Raiders' bonus point after 25 minutes.
However, Lydney were then able to put plenty of pressure on the home 22 but their only real chance came when Matt Williams took a quick tap penalty but lost the ball over the home line.
The contrast between the sides was emphasised as Worthing ran the loose ball back from their own goal-line and Neilsen raced away from halfway for the Raiders' fifth try.
The second half was an anti-climax as the Raiders put three more tries on the board before the hour mark and then went off the boil.
Constant pressure in the 22 ended with Sam Hewick going over out wide, Joe Govett adding a good conversion, before Lydney made a mess of their own scrum feed and Govett sent Charlie McGowan rumbling away to score.
On 54 minutes, Lydney kicked away an advantage and were punished on the counter, Ludi Hopkinson finishing in the corner, Govett adding a good conversion.
While Worthing's intensity on defence remained high, their attack lost its focus with over-complicated moves and individualism taking over from shape and structure and Lydney were able to get the ball in their hands and look to pose some questions.
Despite the efforts of Williams, Wicks and Charlie Daniell they only rarely threatened inside the 22 and their woes continued as, with Will Jones on the bench but not fit enough to play, Dave Bennett had to leave the field with a shoulder problem and the Severnsiders played the final few minutes a man down.
Worthing had the final word as Maslen gained possession on the ten-metre line, skipped his way through the defence and raced away to the line for his third try of the day.
WORTHING RAIDERS: L Hopkinson; J Maslen, O Richards, K Richards, A Nielsen; B Dudley, J Govett; M Pointing, M Miles (Capt.), J Burns; W Stutchbury, C McGowan; J Heaver, S Hewick, J Redmayne. Reps: J McIntyre (for Miles, 59), R Smith (for Heaver, 72), J Smith (for Burns, 59), K Leeming (for Dudley, 51), J Whittall (for Redmayne, 65).
LYDNEY: M Dodge; T Lacabuka, C Holder, J Innes, A Hall; T Wicks, M Williams; L Green, S Fisher, S Winchcombe; S Thomson, D Bennett; J McMahon, M Taylor (Capt.); C Daniell. Rep s: B Lewis (for Fisher, 33), P McAllister (for Innes, 46), W Jones, J Sterry (for Hall, 74), C Farrell (for Taylor, 74).
Referee: Richard Harding (RFU Appointment)
Star Man: Charlie Daniell was a handful for the Worthing defence all day