Narrow victory over high-flying Invicta moves Worthing up to 20th
Zack Newton and Reece Myles-Meekums were both on target and claimed assists as Worthing moved up to 20th with a 3-2 win over high-flying Folkestone Invicta.
The hosts started brightly and took a 17th minute lead when Newton slotted past Folkestone goalkeeper Tim Roberts and then set up Reece Myles-Meekums for the second.
Invicta pulled a goal back three minutes before half-time when Johan Ter Horst headed in Ian Draycott’s cross to make it 2-1, giving them some hope.
Jesse Starkey tapped in from close range in the 66th minute to restore Worthing’s two-goal lead before Ter Horst curled in a late consolation for the visitors as it ended 3-2.
Referee Alex Fisher was involved early on in the game as he waved away Worthing appeals for handball when Starkey’s shot was blocked.
Five minutes later the referee inadvertently deflected Starkey’s pass, setting up a Folkestone attack which resulted in Johan Ter Horst shooting wide with Lucas Covolan bearing down.
Worthing took the lead in the 17th minute when midfielder Joe Clarke played in Newton who slotted past Roberts from just inside the penalty area.
Newton nearly had his second on the half hour mark when he ran onto Covolan’s long kick forward and turned Callum Davies inside out before failing to get a clean contact on his shot using his weaker left foot, allowing Matt Newman to clear.
Worthing forward Newton has been in fine form since returning from Metropolitan Police, and he set up Myles-Meekums, in acres of space on the edge of the box, for his side’s second in the 39th minute.
The hosts should have shut up shop and held out until half-time, but they were outnumbered at the back when Draycott crossed for Ter Horst to head in before the break.
Two minutes after half-time Starkey diverted Myles-Meekums’ low cross into the side netting, but a change of tactics saw an improved Folkestone at the start of the second half.
Just after the hour mark Roberts saved Newton’s effort before Alex Parsons’ cross appeared to hit the hand of a Folkestone defender, but the referee ignored the penalty appeals.
A Worthing goal looked inevitable as they upped the tempo again, and it arrived in the 66th minute when Myles-Meekums picked out Starkey to tap into an empty net from six yards.
After the goal, chances were limited until the 88th minute when Ter Horst cut inside from the left and curled into the top corner to drag his side back into the game once again.
But it was little more than a consolation as Worthing held on for a 3-2 win that moves them up to 20th, six points clear of the relegation zone.
Worthing: Covolan, Colbran, Rents, Budd (c), Clarke, Young, Parsons, Myles-Meekums (Pamment 70’), Newton (Pope 86’), Starkey, Sparks.
Subs Not Used: Sisimayi, Rance, Barker.
Goals: Newton 17’, Myles-Meekums 39’, Starkey 66’.
Booked: Rents 80’.
Folkestone Invicta: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks (Yusuff 81’), Dolan, Davies (c), Newman, Hasler, Aboague (McCann 45’), Draycott, Ter Horst, Taylor.
Subs Not Used: Walmsley, Madden, Shaw.
Goals: Ter Horst 42’ 88’.
Booked: Hasler 53’, Taylor 83’.