Ollie Pearce opened his account for the season and Marvin Armstrong opened his for the club, as Worthing banished memories of last week’s hammering by Hornchurch in a Derby Day demolition of their arch rivals.
- Armstrong (33')
- Pearce (57', 65')
Not surprisingly, perhaps, changes were made after that defeat, although two were enforced through injuries suffered that day by Joel Colbran and Darren Budd. Ross Edwards played his first game of the season and Armstrong earned a recall, while Pearce was preferred to Dawes.
The energy-sapping heat didn’t distract either side in the early stages, with Jimmy Muitt seizing on a loose ball from a half-cleared corner and driving into the box; forcing Roco Rees to get down low at his near post and hold his shot.
Seconds later, it was Muitt again, charging down the right and firing over the angle. Despite the close attentions of Jalen Jones.
Reece Myles-Meekums lead a home response when his low, left wing cross was cut out by Ben Clark-Eden and Charlie Searle turned away a similar effort from Jesse Starkey soon after.
A quick break almost saw the visitors go in front but Armstrong stopped Muitt breaking the deadlock inside the penalty area, once the Bognor striker had sped past Jones.
Ricky Aguiar found Parsons hugging the right-hand touchline and Pearce met his subsequent delivery, though the ex-Rock was unable to direct it past Searle.
Rees dealt comfortably with Dan Smith’s attempt before an unfortunate bounce and backspin caught out Jones, which gave Muitt the opportunity to slip in Smith again, only for the ball to get stuck under/between his feet and the game remained goalless.
Searle denied Pearce with an outstretched arm, after Aguiar had spotted his run to the byline at a free-kick and Meekums came even closer, when the outside of a post kept him out, from the opposite side.
Good reactions were required by Rees, to keep Smith at bay, thanks to Muitt initiating a burst from midfield ,although it would be the Reds who would open the scoring just past the half-hour.
Parson’s throw deep on the right was returned to him by Armstrong and then distributed to Captain, Danny Barker. Marvin broke into the box, cut back inside Harvey Whyte and hit a left foot shot that Searle could only parry over the line, when he should have done better.
Rock’s retaliated when Smith intercepted Barker’s weak ball to Edwards and, after exchanging passes with Muitt, failed to test Rees from the edge of the penalty area.
Meekums then got the better of the returning James Crane down the left and made it all the way to the ‘d’ but dragged his shot wide of the upright, as the first-half drew to a close.
An Aguiar flag-kick somehow missed everyone, a stretching Parsons couldn’t quite connect and Joe Tennent’s header proved no problem for Searle, during a hectic spell in the opening quarter of the second period.
It wasn’t long, however, before Worthing increased their advantage through the tenacity of Pearce.
The visitor’s attempts to play out from the back were thwarted by Parsons and Ollie wasted no time in darting into the box and tucking the ball neatly inside the near post.
Eight minutes later and the one time Rock’s favourite had his second of the afternoon. Picking up Jones’ throw-in on the left, he turned past Tommy Leigh, whipped back inside Clark-Eden, got in between Leigh and Wood and drilled his shot through the legs of the latter, into the same part of the net as his first.
A rare attack by the opposition resulted in Rees holding a low effort from Smith, who worked well with Muitt again but Pearce almost sniffed out his hat-trick; when he nicked possession but fired over the target.
The recently introduced Tommy Scutt failed to trouble the scoreboard and a long ball to Muitt ended with another comfortable save for Rees, to deny Smith for the upteenth time.
Reds nearly blotted their copybook when Smith took advantage of a weak header, intended for Aguiar but, this time, Rees wasn’t required.
Pearce did a similar thing, three minutes from time, though instead he set up Parsons for an attempt that flashed over the bar.