Worthing draw 3-3 with Met Police on return to Woodside Road
Worthing had to settle for a point in their first “home” match of the season as a 90th minute Keiron Pammant penalty secured a 3-3 draw with Metropolitan Police.
The hosts made a poor start in the first match at the Bibby Financial Services Stadium after the recent issues with the artificial surface as Lloyd Macklin gave the Met the lead.
Goals from Pammant and Zack Newton gave Worthing a deserved lead until the 86th minute when Macklin equalised from the penalty spot.
The Met Police forward blasted in to make it 3-2 before the referee awarded a penalty at the other end to give the hosts a lifeline and Pammant converted to snatch a point.
The visitors got off to a flying start when a defensive lapse allowed Ryan James to flick on to Macklin who outmuscled Henry Watson and slotted in a seventh-minute opener.
Worthing responded well though and dominated much of the first half with the energetic Jazz Rance in the thick off the action, forcing Luke Williams into a save.
A surging run by Tom Cadman saw the Worthing defender send Reece Meekums down the line and when the Brighton loanee cut back to Rance he forced another save.
Alfie Young’s header which bounced up off the surface towards the far post was headed off the line by a Met Police defender.
Midway through the half Rance had his best chance yet, taking a touch to control Newton’s deep cross but skewing his shot into the side netting.
Worthing deservedly equalised in the 27th minute when Meekums flicked Rance’s cross into the path of Pammant who blasted in from ten yards.
Young again came close to scoring with a header when goalkeeper Williams tipped his effort onto the crossbar and it bounced down the wrong side of the goal-line.
In a rare chance for the away side Lucas Covolan rushed out to meet Macklin whose surging run into the box ended with him overrunning as it trailed out for a goal-kick.
Worthing made a lively start to the second half when Meekums nutmegged Will Salmon and raced into the box before being shepherded out for a corner when lining up an attempt.
The hosts took the lead on the hour mark when Meekums’ cross found Zack Newton whose first time volley from just inside the box nestled in the bottom corner.
Worthing goalkeeper Covolan had to be on his toes in the 70th minute to tip Ryan James’ header over the bar as the visitors looked for an equaliser.
At the other end Rance raced through on goal but Williams was out quickly to thwart before his follow up attempt was cleared off the line by a defender.
Meekums then struck wide from close range with the goal at his mercy before drilling wide across the six yard box under pressure from a defender.
Covolan made a good save in the 81st minute to push Jay Gasson’s header around the post but the visitors looked unlikely to threaten an equaliser.
That was until the 86th minute when referee Damith Bandara harshly awarded the visitors a penalty for a handball in the Worthing box and Macklin converted from the spot.
Hinshelwood was sent to then stands for his protests and three minutes later Macklin turned the game around, blasting into the roof of the next from just inside the box to make it 3-2.
The drama wasn’t over yet though as the referee pointed to the spot again for a handball in the Met Police box and Pammant made it 3-3 from the spot in the 90th minute.
The result leaves Worthing rooted to the foot of the table on a day when their closest rivals Harlow Town and Tooting and Mitcham United both picked up three points.
Worthing: Covolan, Young, Cadman, Hallard, Watson (c), Edwards, Newton, Pammant, Meekums, Rance, Sparks.
Subs Not Used: Williamson, Rents, Wrightman, Boiling, Schneider.
Goal: Pammant 27’ 90’, Newton 60’.
Booked: Sparks 87’.
Metropolitan Police: L. Williams, Salmon, Bird, Robinson, Gasson, S. Williams, Hickey (c), Gallagher (Mylers 57’), Kealy (Mummery 65’), James (Nurse 82’), Macklin.
Subs Not Used: Arthur, Tarr.
Goals: Macklin 7’ 86’ 89’.
Booked: Gallagher 20’, Salmon 90’, Gasson 90’.