After Saturday saw Worthing return to winning ways with victory over Cray Wanderers, Boss Hinsh opted to bring back Will Seager and Marvin Armstrong for Cam Tutt and Ollie Starkey.
Andronicos Georgiou got Male scrambling towards his left-hand post after only three minutes; the ambitious, forty yard shot not missing by much at all.
Haringey had no trouble finding the net from much closer in not long afterwards, although they did have visiting defender Luca Cocoracchio to thank, as he headed a left wing cross into his own goal to gift Borough a sixth minute lead.
A free-kick by Ollie Pearce sailed narrowly over the top, as the travelling team looked to get themselves back on track.
Christmas was nearly celebrated early at Coles Park, when Danny Barker lost possession in midfield to Ade Cole who broke clear before Georgiou forced Male into saving his second effort of the evening, somewhat nearer to the target on this occasion.
Cole came close to adding his name to the scoresheet but Male denied him from the edge of the area to concede a corner, following, initially, a misdirected header by Aarran Racine.
Despite not tasting victory in the league since September, the hosts weren’t overawed in facing the league leaders, who were struggling to create much of a threat up front.
The main highlight of the evening so far deriving from the Bell End chanters declaring that “ you’ll never beat Scott Mitchell.” Although, to be brutally honest, getting the better of Peggy Mitchell appeared to be just as improbable a possibility. (God rest Barbara Windsor’s soul.)
Stoppage time saw Callum Ismail’s attempts to shepherd the ball out of play – in front of the main stand- for a throw-in thwarted by Reece Myles-Meekums, who nipped in and stole it off the right-back, then surged down the right flank, eventually picking out Dajon Golding inside the penalty area. Sadly, a short pass to Pearce met with a weak finish and a long walk to the dressing rooms on the far side of the pitch, at the end of the opening period.
Typically, however, it took only a few short minutes of the second forty-five for Worthing to completely turn the match on its head !
A low fizzing delivery was missed by three red shirts in a row until Armstrong finally smashed home from close range to level the score.
Not resting on their laurels, Joel Colbran then put the away side in the ascendancy as he tapped in a Barker knockdown on the end of a chip into the danger zone by Myles-Meekums after he’d received a short flag-kick from Jesse Starkey. Deep breath everyone !
The unpredictability of the night then took another twist as the Sussex-based guests found themselves back on level terms within sixty seconds, thanks to a stunning effort via the boot of first-half sub Georgios Aresti. Although there was as much hope as there was hit when he let fly with a low drive from the edge of the box.
They almost had their noses in front with Andronicos Georgiou aiming a twenty yard curler towards the far top corner, only for Male to go full Superman and pull off a top-draw stop.
Neat interplay between Golding, Pearce and Myles-Meekums created a rare opportunity for the latter to reestablish a previously short-lived lead but a power-lacking attempt eighteen yards out wasn’t going to do it.
Regardless, Meeky embarked on a more familiar, lung-busting run all the way to the byline with a little more than ten minutes remaining. Lamar Joseph-Johnson parrying point-blank at the near upright before pandemonium ensued. Crosses were only half-cleared and quickly recycled ‘til replacement, Callum Kealy nodded forward into an unoccupied space in the six yard area and LJJ could (calmly) collect.
Reds’ last line then returned to prevent Cole finding the far side of the net; Male comfortably holding on after Pearce had been dispossessed by home Captain Rakim Richards.
Recently-introduced, Tom Chalaye nearly performed an unthinkable act when Mitchell was reduced to pulling down the marauding striker. Only covering defenders sparing his blushes and a red card. The subsequent set-piece taken by the man to have slipped him through, Pearce, helped onto Starkey who saw his shot charged down.
Chalaye had an added time attempt blocked in the box before Cole suffered a similar fate, thanks once more to that man Male.
Fresh off the bench Mekhi Leacock-McLeod though had the best chance of them all, with a charge towards the target dramatically concluded thanks to an immaculately-timed challenge that showed bravery, skill and anticipation.
Not really, he fell over his own feet and handled the ball upon landing to give away a free-kick. Priceless.