Worthing secure Ryman Premier status after 1-1 draw with Hillians
Substitute Jack Newhouse scored a 94th minute equaliser as Worthing sealed Ryman Premier Division survival with a 1-1 draw with Burgess Hill Town.
The Hillians had taken the lead after the hour mark when Tyrell Richardson-Brown turned in Aaron Smith-Joseph’s cross.
The home side looked unlikely to score until deep into stoppage time when Ben Pope’s long throw eventually fell to Newhouse who fired in from close range.
The goal, Worthing’s first at home in 565 minutes, ensures that mathematically the Mackerel Men can no longer be relegated.
Worthing manager Gary Elphick made one change to the side beaten at Wingate & Finchley on Saturday with Lloyd Dawes replacing Dan Summers.
The visitors had the first chance when Jack Cook headed back to Kieron Thorp who fumbled the ball but recovered to clear with Richardson-Brown ready to pounce.
Lloyd Dawes and Harvey Sparks both forced James Shaw into relatively comfortably saves as pickings were slim during the early stages.
At the other end Thorp held Jack Brivio’s long range attempt before Richardson-Brown raced through but overran and eventually struck low at Thorp who saved with his foot.
Thorp comfortably saved another speculative effort from Brivio while Will Hendon fed Dawes at the other end but his low cross was intercepted.
Burgess Hill’s Smith-Joseph then played in Richardson-Brown who raced through but skewed his shot well wide from the edge of the box with only Thorp to beat.
The final action of the first half saw left-back Sam Fisk whip a cross towards to the far corner where Tom Cadman was well positioned to clear off the line.
Burgess Hill substitute Leon Redwood was booked shortly before the hour mark for a foul on Dave Herbert and as a result Brannon O’Neill’s dipping free-kick was saved by Shaw.
Two minutes later the visitors broke at the other end and substitute Lee Harding picked out Richardson-Brown who slotted in from six yards.
The Hillians nearly doubled their lead in the 73rd minute, Thorp saving from Ibrahim Diallo who had been picked up at the far post by Aaron Smith-Joseph’s deep cross.
Harding’s volley was then deflected over by O’Neill whose 82nd minute attempt at the other end was deflected for a corner.
Harding had a couple of chances in the final ten minutes with Thorp saving after he broke through the Worthing defence and O’Neill blocking his shot in stoppage time.
Worthing made a late push for an equaliser and it finally came in the final seconds when Ben Pope’s long cross fell to Newhouse who fired in on the rebound at the far post.
Worthing: Thorp, Hendon, Rents, Wills (c), Cook, Cadman, Dawes, O’Neill, Herbert (Pope 61’), Clark (Newhouse 71’), Sparks.
Subs Not Used: Belward, Hallard, Boiling.
Goal: Newhouse 94’.
Booked: Dawes 43’.
Burgess Hill Town: Shaw, Diallo, Fisk, Miles (Hazet 78’), Toure (c), Richmond, Pointing (Redwood 45’), Brivio, Richardson-Brown, Smith-Joseph, Rodriguez (L. Harding 55’).
Subs Not Used: P. Harding, Hazet, Diao.
Goals: Richardson-Brown 61’.
Booked: Miles 48’, Redwood 58’.