Isthmian Premier Division Sat 21 August The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Pearce (10', 84')
  • Racine (51')
  • Chalaye (88')
Bowers & Pitsea
  • Sach (14')

After a quiet opening 10 minutes, the match sprung into life with a Worthing opener – which seemingly came straight from the training ground.

A corner from Dean Cox was taken short to Jasper Pattenden, who laid the ball back to Cox.

The winger ran to the by-line, before pulling back to Ollie Pearce, who fired past Lamar Joseph-Johnson to put the Reds 1-0 up in the 11th minute.

Bowers almost responded a minute after conceding, when Jamie Dicks found himself free to shoot in the Worthing penalty area, but Joel Colbran was on hand to clear off the line for the hosts.

Two minutes later, the visitors drew level after a mix-up at the back saw Bradley Sach bear down on goal, before chipping Harrison Male to level the scoring.

Worthing goal scorer Pearce threatened to regain Worthing’s lead on the half-hour mark, when he picked up the ball in the centre circle. He fired a low shot from the edge of the area, but Joseph-Johnson made a simple save to deny him.

The hosts continued to apply pressure on to Bowers, and in the 32nd minute Jasper Pattenden picked up the ball on the left wing, before cutting in and curling a dangerous-looking effort towards goal. Only for the effort to be denied by a deflection, which diverted the ball narrowly wide of the far post.

Alex Parsons had a half-chance to put Worthing in the lead at the break in the 42nd minute, when a long ball from Luca Coccorachio was failed to clear by Bowers’ Quentin Monville, but the winger amended his error by swiping the ball back off Parsons to keep the score level at the interval.

In the 50th minute, Dean Cox picked the ball up on the right, eventually winning a corner after his attempted cross was blocked.

Cox swung the corner deep towards skipper Aarran Racine at the back post, whose header looped over Joseph-Johnson to put Worthing back ahead five minutes into the second half.

On the hour mark, Cox floated the ball to Pearce inside the box, who took one touch before backheeling the ball into the path of the advancing Parsons, but his shot was blocked by Bowers captain Max Cornhill.

In the 67th minute, a Cox clearance created a 50/50 race with Parsons and Joseph-Johnson, with the latter narrowly winning the ball but causing an injury to Parsons who was replaced by Tom Chalaye.

Substitute Tom Chalaye made a big impact coming on to score and create a goal in the second half

The substitute then had two opportunities to double Worthing’s lead within eight minutes of entering the pitch.

First, a poor goal kick from Joseph-Johnson set him through on goal but he dragged his effort wide, before a cross from Pattenden presented him with another chance but Joseph-Johnson was quick to close the angle.

The game came to a feisty close in the final ten minutes, and Cornhill saw red for a reckless tackle on Danny Barker in the 82nd minute.

One minute after the dismissal, Chalaye played the ball down the line to Pearce, who took one touch inside the area before firing a low shot past Joseph-Johnson into the far corner to make it 3-1 to Worthing.

Two minutes later, the pair swapped roles with Pearce connecting onto a long ball from substitute Kyle O’Brien.

He laid the ball to Chalaye, who took one touch before rifling the ball into the roof of the net to ensure Worthing of all three points in their first competitive league game since March 2020.