Worthing edge closer to survival after draw with Kingstonian
Gary Elphick’s first match solely in charge of Worthing after the resignation of joint-manager Jon Meeney in midweek ended in a 0-0 draw with Kingstonian.
While it was far from a classic for the first 70 minutes, a lively conclusion saw the woodwork struck twice as both sides pressed for a winner.
The result edges Worthing ever closer to guaranteed survival in the Ryman Premier Division while Kingstonian drop into the relegation zone.
Worthing were unchanged from the side that drew 0-0 against struggling AFC Sudbury the previous Saturday with Lloyd Dawes returning to the bench.
The hosts had the first attempt on goal in the seventh minute when Louis Clark cut in from the left and his deflected strike was well claimed by goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey.
Chances were few and far between during the first half, Tolfrey parrying Dan Summers’ first time shot to safety after a surging run by Dave Herbert.
Summers volleyed across the face of goal from an acute angle shortly before the half hour mark, but it dropped wide of the far post.
Kingstonian’s best chance of the first half fell to Alan Inns, but his header from close range was cleared off the line by Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Tom Cadman.
Joe Turner spurned a couple of chances before picking out Inns unmarked in the six yard box from a corner, but the visiting captain diverted wide.
The early stages of the second half were much the same as the first, Tolfrey saving from Summers while Pelayon Gomez-Pico and Turner stuck wide for Kingstonian.
With 20 minutes to go the game came to life when Clark raced onto Kane Wills’ long ball forward but prodded straight at Tolfrey.
Moments later Clark picked out substitute Lloyd Dawes inside the box and the Worthing top scorer’s shot came back off the inside of the post.
Worthing goalkeeper Kieron Thorp then did well to claw away Tom Derry’s deflected effort at the other end before Dawes dragged wide for the hosts from Wills’ through ball.
Kingstonian were calling for a penalty in the 77th minute when the ball appeared to hit Jack Cook’s hand inside the box, but referee Alex Blake ignored the appeals.
Five minutes later Cook’s mistake resulted in Charles Banya going clear through but his lob rebounded back off the bar and Cadman shepherded the rebound to safety.
In the 90th minute some trickery from Dawes led to a cross to Ben Pope lurking in the six yard box but Sean Bennett-Johnson did enough to keep the ball out as it ended 0-0.
Worthing: Thorp, Hendon, Rents, Wills (c), Cook, Cadman, Sparks, O’Neill, Summers (Pope 80’), Herbert (Dawes 59’), Clark.
Subs Not Used: Belward, Watson, Boiling.
Booked: Cadman 39’.
Kingstonian: Tolfrey, Bennett-Johnson, Wells, O’Leary, Page, Inns (c), Bamba (Lamount 59’), McAuley, Gomez-Pico (Banya 66’), Derry, Turner.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Doukoure, Goode.