Nine-men Worthing punish missed chances

Nine-men Worthing have left the Bob Lucas Stadium with all three points after a series of missed chances Saturday resulted in a 4-1 loss.

Ollie Pearce was the main culprit, scoring a hat-trick to give the visitors a victory that was ultimately deserved.

Whilst Malachi Linton did get one back in the second half with a consolation goal, the Rebels had already found themselves three goals up at that stage, two of which came before halftime.

This was all whilst they were down to 10 men, after Reuben Livesey-Austin was sent off in the 14th minute for a reckless challenge.

Worthing’s ill discipline continued after manager Adam Hinshelwood was sent off just before 70 minutes.

Following Linton’s goal, our continued threat was ultimately thwarted when Danny Cashman played Pearce through, who slotted past Gerard Benfield to make 4-1 six minutes before the end.

Despite the result, we have only slipped down one place in the National League South table.

We also find ourselves FOUR points ahead of Dartford, having played the same number of games.

Bobby Wilkinson made three changes following our loss to Chelmsford City the week before, bringing in Elliott Bolton and Teddy Howe, alongside newcomer Corey Panter, who recently joined us on loan from Eastleigh last Thursday.

Creating more chances than the league’s highest scorers was always going to be a difficult task.

This was proven after just seven minutes.

Livesey-Austin attempted a weak long-range shot, which somehow managed to land straight at the feet of Cashman.

The Worthing forward hardly needed to touch the ball, as it appeared to simply bounce off his foot, before it sent Benfield the wrong way to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

But, despite going behind so early, we were handed a lifeline just seven minutes later when Livesey-Austin was involved once more, only this time for the wrong reasons.

Howe managed to win the ball back following a misplaced pass from Tommy Willard, before carrying the ball towards the halfway line.

Livesey-Austin, however, stopped Howe’s run with a lunging challenge, his feet landing nowhere near the ball.

Referee Nicholas Dunn did not hesitate to send the defender off, leaving Worthing a man down with a further 76 minutes to play.

Following the first red card of the game, we then began to have a few chances.

The first one of note came from a Goodship corner, soon before the half-hour mark, which met the head of Leo Hamblin.

However, the full-back was unable to hit the target, heading over the bar.

Hamblin, though, wouldn’t have such bad luck the next time round.

Another Goodship corner was swung towards the head of Linton, who managed to head the ball towards our defender, who headed home to make it all-square after 28 minutes.

Or he would have done, had the linesman not flagged for offside.

With us still being a goal down, Hamblin was at the centre of our chances once again, fizzing a powerful low cross into the box down the left-hand side.

Unfortunately, though, the delivery wasn’t able to connect with any of our forwards, instead going out towards the corner flag.

It wasn’t over yet, as Goodship managed to reach the ball, laying it off to Howe who then delivered a cross of his own.

It was able to reach Linton, who was unlucky to see his effort brilliantly saved by Ollie Wright.

But, despite our hard work creating chances, it would be the visitors who would score next.

Their second goal came two minutes before the break, when Joe Felix started to carry the ball down the left-hand side.

The Worthing full-back then provided a clever pass to Willard, who ran towards goal.

By this time, Benfield came rushing beyond his line, bringing down Willard in the process.

With Dunn having no choice but to award a penalty, Pearce lined up to kick from the spot, sending the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 just before halftime.

Our first second-half chance came just two minutes in, when Hamblin’s deflected cross bobbled towards the feet of Tom Bearwish on the edge of the box.

However, our skipper was unable to hit the target, firing his venomous strike wide.

With our full-backs now starting to provide an abundance of crosses, Hamblin swung the ball in towards Harry Parsons, who attempted an ambitious overhead kick.

Whilst a Parsons screamer isn’t uncommon, it was not meant to be on that occasion.

Eight minutes later though, at the hour mark, Worthing were handed a huge slice of luck when Durojaiye’s attempted clearance landed straight at the feet of Pearce, who coolly lifted the ball over Benfield to make it 3-0.

With us being three goals down with just half-an-hour to go, we now had a huge mountain to climb.

But, despite the large goal deficit, we still managed to create chances.

Howe, usually a provider of goals, had the opportunity to score one himself from just a few yards following a Bearwish long-ball.

His strike, however, managed to bounce off the post and out of play.

After Howe’s miss, Hinshelwood was sent off for the visitors, leaving Worthing with a man down in the dugout as well as on the pitch.

As the game started to draw towards a close, we had another huge chance to reduce our deficit to just two goals.

We would have perhaps done so if it wasn’t for the actions of Wright, who first pushed away Linton’s shot, before holding on to Parsons’ effort on the rebound.

Our consolation goal did eventually come through Linton, who had the simple job of tapping home from barely a yard out after Wright initially stopped Parsons’ effort.

However, the visitors would score once again six minutes before stoppage time when Cashman played Pearce through on goal.

The league’s highest goal scorer unsurprisingly made no mistake, rolling the ball past Benfield for a hat-trick.

Though Joel Colbran was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge in Linton in stoppage time, the scoreline was well and truly settled by that point.

This meant that, despite our numerous chances, we lost in the league for the second game running.

Luckily, though, we have the chance to turn things around tomorrow night against Hampton & Richmond Borough [19.45 GMT].

Match report
By Jack Webb

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