Worthing come from behind to beat Merstham and end nine match winless run
Goals from Will Hendon and Kane Wills earned Worthing a 2-1 win over Merstham at Moatside to ease growing concerns of a battle against relegation.
There was just one change in personnel to the side that had lost at Leiston at the weekend. Corey Heath who picked up a knock in that game was ruled out, so in came striker Dave Herbert for his first start of the season.
Herbert partnered Dan Summers in attack with Louis Clark switching to a place on the wing while Sam Rents reverted to a more natural position at full-back and new signing Tom Cadman filled in for Heath at the heart of the defence.
The home side opened the scoring thought early on when Alex Addai cut inside from the left and blasted the ball past Thorpe.
The goalscorer was causing a lot of problems early on; easily going past Rents and cutting inside again, this time from the right-hand-side firing a shot just wide of the post.
The visitor’s first chance of the evening came after a brilliant through ball by Summers played in Sparks, the winger driving into the box but his eventual cross was cleared to safety.
A Jack Cook header from a Brannon O’Neill corner was put wide of the mark and then shortly afterwards a brilliant turn and driving shot by Herbert, 20 yards out just swung wide of the post.
Worthing grew more and more into the game and a stunning curling effort towards the top left corner by Rents was well saved by Smith to keep the home side ahead.
Will Hendon then grabbed an equaliser for the Mackerels when his attempted cross deflected over Smith and into the net on 39 minutes.
Herbert nearly put Worthing ahead just before half time after a lovely flick from Summers gave him the opportunity of a first time shot which he fired over the bar.
Into the second half and Dan Bennett almost put Merstham ahead; a dink over Thorpe was goal bound until Cook managed to clear.
An incredible goal then put Worthing ahead just past the hour mark. Summers’ free-kick was blocked by the wall, sending the ball looping into the air where it was met first time by Kane Wills on the volley who struck it perfectly and flew past Smith into the top corner giving him no chance. Unstoppable.
Another beautiful Worthing move resulted in a Sparks effort just outside the box going wide of the right post.
A stunning, close-range save by Kieran Thorpe to deny Addai late on in the game was the closest the hosts came to forcing an equaliser and Worthing were victorious for the first time in nine games, moving up to 13th in the table in the process, nine points clear of the relegation places.
The Mackerels now face AFC Sudbury at home on Saturday, 3pm kick-off – admission being ‘Pay What You Like’. Read more here.