Pope hat-trick seals first win of the season in Sussex Senior Cup
Ben Pope scored a hat-trick as Worthing secured their first win of the season and 210 days, beating Lancing 5-0 in the Sussex Senior Cup first round.
The returning striker opened the scoring on the half hour mark and netted either side of half-time, completing his treble.
Kieron Pammant had made it 3-0 early in the second half, and he also added his team’s fifth in the 83rd minute.
It was a morale boosting victory for Worthing, bringing their dreadful run of 23 games without a win to an end.
The hosts had the better chances during the first half, Kieron Pammant forcing Tyler D’Cruz into an early save and perhaps unfortunate not to win a penalty.
D’Cruz saved Luca Wrightman’s low strike from the edge of the box and pushed away Sam Rent’s curling free-kick before Worthing took the lead on the half hour mark.
Darren Budd, making his debut having rejoining the club he previously played for, produced an inch-perfect through ball for Pope to run onto a slot into the bottom corner.
Lancing should have equalised three minutes later but Lewis Finney struck inches wide of the post having turned well in the box.
The home side doubled their lead five minutes before half-time when Rhyle Ovenden sent Wrightman down the wing and he crossed for Pope to guide in at the near post.
Seven minutes into the second half it was 3-0 when Sam Rents played in Pammant on the left and the former Horsham forward cut inside and curled around the goalkeeper.
Pope sealed his hat-trick in the 58th minute, sending D’Cruz the wrong way from 12 yards after David Marsh had handled in the box to concede a penalty.
Having sealed the victory the match began to peter out until the 78th minute when Reuben Schneider crossed to Pammant who headed wide when he should have scored.
With ten minutes to go there was a minor scare when some floodlights failed, bringing back memories of an abandonment two years ago, but there was enough light to continue.
Worthing made it 5-0 in the 83rd minute when substitute Ross Edwards’ through ball found Pammant who placed into the bottom corner to round off a convincing win.
Worthing: Covolan, Wrightman, Rents, Budd, Colbran, Young, Parsons, Ovenden (Edwards 75’), Pope (c) (Sparks 65’), Pammant, Schneider.
Subs Not Used: Watson, Boiling, Williamson.
Goals: Pope 30’, 40’ 58’, Pammant 52’.
Lancing: D’Cruz, Donaldson, Clayman, Marsh, Sharman (Pittock 68’), E. Finney, Dramis, Williamson (c) (Watson 75’), Spinks, Tredrea, L. Finney.
Subs Not Used: Sisimayi.
Booked: Spinks 57’.