Worthing Women bounced back from their disappointing cup defeat to Billericay last time out, as they comfortably overcame a well drilled Hassocks side on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Beth Kincaid and Tammy Waine ensured Michelle Lawrence’s side continued their relentless league form at a rain soaked Woodside Road.
Both sides made a positive start to proceedings, but it was the home side who fashioned the first opening after five minutes. Lucy Somes showed great balance to beat two Hassocks defenders, before seeing her goalbound shot well blocked from close range.
Beth Kincaid caused the Hassocks backline countless problems all afternoon, and only a fantastic one handed save from visiting keeper Sarah Chappell on 11 minutes denied the Worthing winger the opener. Chappell was called into action again five minutes later as she denied Somes from close range when the Worthing striker looked destined to score.
Rebecca Barron also went close for the hosts on 28 minutes when her acrobatic volley almost deceived Chappell, who claimed well. Barely two minutes later, Kincaid wasted another golden opportunity, when she could only scuff her effort wide from 6 yards to the relief of the Hassocks rearguard.
After being kept at bay for the majority of the half, Worthing finally found the breakthrough five minutes before half time, when Kincaid gleefully tapped home past Chappell following another good run and unselfish cutback from Somes.
After taking that narrow lead into the interval, manager Lawrence introduced Brooke Marshall for Gypsy Sutcliffe as she rotated her formation to try and find a crucial second goal, and it would come just three minutes after that change.
This time it was the turn of defender Tammy Waine to get her name on the scoresheet, when she thundered Hannah Hewletts smart header from a corner into the roof of the net on 54 minutes to give her side breathing space going into the final half hour.
With a two goal buffer secured, Worthing introduced Sara Tubby, Sophie Humphrey and Chloe Lelliott for Somes, Kincaid and Hewlett to add some much needed energy high up the pitch.
Sophie Frost then had a chance to make it 3-0, however her close range effort lacked power and was easy for Chappell. Tubby then saw her powerful header from yet another corner drop narrowly wide, before her stinging drive on 70 minutes forced Chappell into another good stop.
Unfortunately, that would prove to be Tubby’s final involvement as she limped off on 76 minutes with a suspected foot ligament injury, with Kincaid returning in her place. Beth Mcklellar and Somes also replaced Hinton and Frost, as Worthing looked to seal the three points and maintain a clean sheet.
Gemma Worsfold had one last chance to make it three, as her powerful half volley from inside the box crashed into the side netting after she had beaten her marker to a throw in.
That was the final action of another positive league game for the Reds, who maintain their position at the top of the league standings with 9 games played. The Reds return to cup action next week, when they welcome Bexhill to Woodside Road for another 3pm kick off.
Manager Michelle Lawrence was pleased with her team’s response to last week’s defeat and said after the match, “We dominated the match from start to finish but credit to Hassocks who worked tirelessly throughout. We could have played quicker at times and been more ruthless in front of goal but we had some really nice spells in possession and I am happy to add another three points to our tally”.
Goalscorer Tammy Waine was also in high spirits following the win, and dedicated her goal to team mate Ashleigh Kirby. She said “ It’s always nice to win, our priority this season has been the league campaign and it’s great to get another three points. Having played most of my career as a centre forward, I love scoring goals but a clean sheet was just as important! My goal was for Ash Kirby, who was watching for the first time since being diagnosed with leukemia in October, so it was special to get a goal for her”.