Hawks edge clash of bottom-two as Read’s last minute strike condemns Worthing to defeat
Worthing took the lead twice at relegations rivals Harlow Town before being pegged back on both occasions and eventually losing to Alex Read’s 90th minute goal as both sides ended with ten men.
Read capitalised on a mistake by the usually reliable Lucas Covolan, who’s attempted clearance presented the frontman with a golden opportunity to win the points which he dully took by smashing the ball home via the crossbar.
The visitors were ahead for the first time as early as the second minute though Kieron Pamment before former Reading defender Ibrahima Sonko headed the hosts level after quarter of an hour.
Reece Meekums first goal for the club restored the Mackerel Men’s first half advantage but they were unable to keep the lead until the break as minutes before Fabion Simms slotted past Covolan via a deflection.
Then in the final minute of the game Covolan appear to hesitate as he received a back pass and ended up kicking the ball to the grateful Read who won his team a vital three points that lifted them up one place in the table.
Boss Adam Hinshelwood made two changes to the side that drew with Harrow Borough the previous week as Reece Hallard recovered from illness to deputise for Darren Budd who was unavailable while Alex Parsons returned to team in place of Jazz Rance.
A bright start was rewarded just two minutes in when after a neat team move Pamment fired an unstoppable shot from 25 yards past a helpless David Hughes.
A straight-forward header from a corner by Sonko brought the home side level though thirteen minutes later, the defender had a near enough unchallenged ran at the ball before powering it into the top corner.
Sonko headed a similar opportunity over the bar a few minutes later before Hinshelwood’s men re-took the lead on the counter attack. Pope did superbly to make something out a hopeful long ball, securing possession high up the field before cutting the ball back perfectly for Meekums to arrive onto and plant past Hughes.
Pamment nearly extended the lead with another superb long range effort that this time cannoned back off the upright and Worthing were left even more frustrated when Simms levelled the scores in first half stoppage time, arriving onto Jared Small’s cutback to slot past Covolan who’s job to keep it out was made harder by a deflection off Hallard.
The second period lacked as much goal mouth action as the first but did see two red cards, one for either team.
First to see red was Hawks’ defender Jideofo Maduako, given a straight red card for a lunge on Jesse Starkey.
Worthing failed to take full advantage of the extra man as Pamment missed a golden chance to give them the lead for a third time and eventually the numbers were evened up eight minutes from time. Pope’s touch got away from him and as he stretched he caught Simms late and he too was given his marching orders.
With the final ten minutes played out 10 v 10 it was end-to-end as both teams went in search of the vital winning goal but it was Worthing who once again dropped points by conceding in the final minutes when Sam Rents played the ball back to Covolan he attempted to chip the ball over Read but instead gifted the ball to him to volley home.
The defeat leaves Worthing still bottom and now seven points behind both Harlow and Tooting & Mitcham in the race to avoid being in the one relegation spot come the end of the season.