Early goals in either half from the returning Callum Kealy and Ricky Aguiar set Worthing on their way to victory against surprise strugglers, Kingstonian.
- Kealy (7')
- Aguiar (47')
- Theophanous (50')
Following Tuesday night’s FA Cup exit at the hands of St Albans City, Manager, Adam Hinshelwood handed a debut to new signing, Ben Pashley at the expense of Jalen Jones and recalled Ross Edwards in place of the hamstrung Marvin Armstrong. Injury and suspension also meant places for Mason Doughty and Callum Kealy as Lloyd Dawes and Joe Tennent were forced to watch from the stands.
It was the hosts who fired an early warning shot across the bows of the visitor’s goal, when Aguiar whipped in a left-sided free-kick that, somehow, missed everyone in the penalty area.
In response, K’s broke down their left through Louis Theophanus, only for his run to be ended by Danny Barker, just outside the box.
Ricky’s rangefinder then lead to the opening goal of the afternoon, after he blasted Ross‘s right-wing corner low, from the edge of the eighteen yard box, which Rob Tolfrey was only able to parry, leaving Kealy with the simple task of poaching the rebound, after only seven minutes.
Yellow’s first sniff of an equaliser came when Reece Hall found himself in space on the left and his byline pullback was fired in by Tom Kavanagh but wide of the target.
A delightful reverse pass by Aguiar set Ollie Pearce racing clear and he picked out Reece Myles-Meekums in the area but the winger couldn’t keep his effort down.
The influential Ricky continued to be at the forefront of Reds best attacking moves; although his delicate chip proved to be too delicate and left Tolfrey with a comfortable catch, approaching the half-hour mark. However, he linked up well with Edwards again shortly afterwards and his low, long range attempt went under Tolfrey, who conceded a corner.
A rare attack by the away team saw a free-kick – in a similar position to that from which St Albans scored in the week – sent in by Fabio Saraiva and while Roco Rees kept it out, the ball fell kindly for Dan Bennett, only for him to lift it fractionally over the bar.
Bennett nearly took advantage of Roco’s rush out to meet him on that same side a short time later but, fortunately for the ‘keeper, placed his shot the wrong side of the far upright.
A dead ball delivery from Aguiar also lead to the goal frame being unaffected in the final chance of the first forty-five.
With the wind behind them after the break, Red’s quickly got a decisive second, when Aguiar pounced on an underhit short pass by Kavanagh to Gus Sow – as the Surrey visitors struggled to clear their lines – and he powered forward before unleashing a shot that flew into the top corner from at least twenty yards, leaving Tolfrey rooted to the spot.
Kinstonian went in search of an immediate reply and came desperately close when Jesse Starkey cleared off the line from Saraiva and Kavanagh’s follow-up from just outside the ‘D’ curled inches wide.
Kealy’s flick to Doughty resulted in Pearce being played into the penalty area and, despite a hand in his back from Ben Harrison, was still able to get his shot away, only to see it glance off the far post and behind for a goal-kick.
The second period was still only a few minutes old when Sean Clohessy’s arching delivery from the right was played back across to the lurking Bennett and his header at the near post was bundled over the line by Theophanus, to put K’s firmly back in the contest.
Bennett flashed one wide of the far stick and Saraiva blazed over, after a free-kick had been touched short to him, as the away side began to stamp their authority on the game.
Theophanus’ right flank cross had too much on it for substitute, Callum Davies and Sow slashed wide from distance in the same minute, with the hosts holding on.
Midway through the half, Hall had The RNLI on red alert after his effort sailed out of the ground and was last seen on a cargo ship passing The Pier.
Worthing thought they had a match-defining third before Tolfrey’s left hand managed to beat away Kealy’s impudent back-heel to Pearce’s byline ball in, off the line.
Defensive uncertainty lead to Saraiva only finding the side netting from close range in stoppage time but Reds saw the rest of the game out to edge up to eighth in the Premier Division table; leaving Kingstonian fourth bottom and just a point off the relegation zone.