Joe Clarke’s stoppage time winner mean’t agony for Lewes but ecstasy for Worthing, as the visitors stunned their East Sussex hosts, to move back up to second in the league.
- Hammond (33')
- Conlon (43')
- Day (74')
- Parsons (58')
- Barker (22')
- Pearce (86')
- Clarke (90')
Four changes from Saturday’s starting line-up saw Budd, Parsons, Aguiar and Kealy restored to the team with Clarke, Miles, Pearce and Rance the ones to make way.
James Crane had the first real chance of the evening, when he turned and fired straight at Lewis Carey, in the home goal, after seven minutes.
Jesse Starkey then put in a cross that found Alex Parsons free on the right and his angled volley flew a matter of inches over the bar, as the quarter-hour mark rapidly approached, before provider nearly turned goalscorer, as the pacey winger fired narrowly over the angle of crossbar and post.
In between those two chances for a rampant Reds, Darren Budd bravely blocked a shot from his opposite number, Tom Day, after Frankie Chappell had headed down a James Hammond free-kick.
Almost exactly at the mid-way point of the first-half, Worthing went in front. Starkey’s free-kick on the right was headed against the far post by Joel Colbran, before the ensuing scramble saw Crane’s shot apparently saved before Danny Barker made sure and, although the goal was initially awarded to the man who got the final touch, it was later given to Crane.
The visitors went in search of a second goal before the break but, despite a lung-bursting run from the halfway line by Starkey, his slide-rule pass to former Lewes forward, Callum Kealy, just had too much on it and Lewis Carey was able to gather. Something he need two go’s at a few minutes later, when Kealy sent in a low drive.
Zack Newton capitalised on a on a misplaced pass in the Lewes defence, only for Parsons to see his shot blocked and the home side conjure up an equaliser moments later.
Steve Brinkhurst delivered a low cross from the right that found its’ way back out to James Hammond, who met it with a powerful side-foot finish to level the scores.
Omarr Lawson then came close to putting the home side in front, as he saw his effort fizz wide of the far post, after Dan Derbyshire had set him up.
Instead, it was Ronnie Conlon who emphatically found the back of the net from Lawson’s ball in from the right, after Brinkhurst had won back possession in Worthing’s half.
If the first forty-five minutes hadn’t provided enough entertainment, the second certainly did !
After Colbran had tried to knock someone off the top of the terrace with an early sighter, Alex Parsons ensured parity was restored when he met a Crane cross at the back stick.
Jonte Smith almost slipped in Derbyshire but, fortunately, the ball ran harmlessly through to Lucas Covolan, just after the Brazilian had tipped a header over the bar from the latter, as we reached the hour mark.
Inside the last twenty minutes and, for the third time in five games, the men from the West Coast were reduced, somewhat harshly, to ten men. After being denied the opening goal, Danny Barker was shown a second yellow card for catching Smith, who was clean through. Although the Bermudan International was able to continue his run, when no goal was forthcoming, the referee pulled the play back and Worthing had to see out the remainder of the game a man light.
To rub salt in the wounds, Day, on loan from Eastbourne Borough, headed home the resulting free-kick that was whipped in by Lawson.
With the game moving into the last ten minutes, substitute, Ollie Pearce headed over from close range from a Budd free-kick before Harry Reed, on just two minutes into the second half in place of the injured Hammond, flashed a shot across the face of goal.
Pearce then had an attempt blocked blocked before he finally opened his account for his new club, after Ricky Aguiar’s floated ball had caught out Carey and, he crashed his header into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
The “Whites” were back in the ascendency and it was the ex-Bognor striker who went close with a free-kick, as the ten-men sought a winner.
That, incredibly, came three minutes into time added on and it was another substitute who got it. Joe Clarke bagged his first of the season when he ran in to meet Pearce’s’ knock-down from another high, lofted ball that had been sent towards the back post by Aguiar.