Late mix-up gifts play-off chasing Wingate & Finchley all three points
A defensive mix-up nine minutes from time gifted substitute Afolabi Obafemi the only goal of the game to keep the hosts play-off hopes alive, leaving Worthing with work to do to secure step three football next season.
A rather hopeful ball over the top looked set to be dealt with by Jack Cook but goalkeeper Kieron Throp raced from his goal line and collided with his defender and the ball ran kindly for Obafamei to eventually slot into the empty net.
Worthing came into the game knowing a point would mathematically eliminate them from relegation but knew they would face a tough test against play-off chasing Wingate and Finchley, who started the day only out of the top five on goal difference.
Tommy Tejan-Sie had the first opportunity of the game early on, hitting an effort towards the bottom left-corner that Thorp did well to stop.
Dan Summers then raced through on goal but when he was looked to have been bought down by the last man no foul was given.
Brannon O’Neill came close when his 25-yard free-kick skimmed the crossbar, The Mackerels best chance of the first half.
Chances were hard to come by in the game and it was looking likely that Worthing’s run of two successive goalless draws may extend to three.
Rob Laney the had the best opportunity of the half for the hosts when Reece Beckles-Richards drove the ball across goal but strike-partner Laney failed to connect when any touch would have put his side ahead before the break.
The second half was much like the first with chances being a rarity. However, Worthing created an opening when a lovely ball was played towards Summers, who chested the ball down terrifically well to lay the ball in front of him. He hit a fierce effort towards goal but the strike was stopped brilliantly by Shane Gore.
Thorp then pulled off a terrific reaction save down the other end to keep the scores level after a close-range effort.
Claudio Vilcu then set up Laney to strike a first-time effort six yards out but he blazed way over the bar.
Beckles-Richards was played through but Cook forced the striker wide and his resulting effort was sliced way right of the goal.
The blues then scored the decisive goal in the 81st minute when Thorp’s clearance cannoned off Cook to Obafemi who steadied himself and despite the best efforts of Cadman managed to bundle the ball over the line.
With just two games to go the Mackerel Men know a draw with local rivals Burgess Hill on Easter Monday will be enough to keep them in the Ryman Premier Division before they travel to another play-off contender, Tonbridge Angels on the final day of the season.