Cam Tutt returned from injury after missing the last four games, taking the place of Pat Webber and Dajon Golding was recalled to the starting line-up at the expense of Will Seager. Pat and Will were joined on the bench by squad debutant Lewis Thorn, promoted from the U18s/Academy.
Worthing shot out of the blocks, as Jasper Pattenden cut inside David Olufemi on the right and dribbled along the edge of the penalty area, before aiming a curler with his left towards the top corner, which Haringey goalkeeper Alex Zamani did well to get a hand to; tipping it onto the crossbar and over for a second minute corner.
Flag-kick number two arrived shortly afterwards, when Zamani foiled Ollie Pearce after he’d latched onto a long ball by James Beresford – from in front of his own dugout to the ‘d’ – and his first touch took it away from covering defender Nathan Kpemou.
Shots were raining in on the Borough goal, with Reece Myles-Meekums the next to go close with a whistler flying narrowly over the top, just outside the box.
Meeky then nodded down a Dajon Golding delivery that Callum Kealy got stuck under his feet but the danger dissipated.
We were still inside the opening quarter of the contest when Aarran Racine hooked a half-cleared Jesse Starkey flag-kick back into the danger zone for Pearce to head onto the bar. Pattenden also denied by Kpemou on the follow-up.
Captain Racine was left further frustrated as a powerful header of his own flew agonisingly wide, Starkey the provider again, closely followed by a Tutt pass down the left wing releasing Kealy, only for Golding to side foot off target too, twelve yards out.
The visitors finally created their first chance of the afternoon on the half-hour mark, thanks to a neat build-up near the right-hand corner flag involving Sami Bessadi and Samuel Owusu, allowing the latter to lay off to Stefanos Georgiou who burst into the eighteen yard box before hitting the black post (holding up the net.)
They nearly went in front approaching the interval, after Myles-Meekums was caught in possession by the six yard box, as he intercepted Jorge Djassi-Sambu’s through ball but Georgiou nicked it off him and a tussle with Tutt resulted in Bobson Bawling (eventually) driving a low shot across the face of goal, which Olufemi slid in to meet but couldn’t quite connect with at the back stick.
It looked like any celebrations would have to be put on hold at this stage, although Myles-Meekums won a corner off Skipper Rakim Richards when the ball broke kindly to him in the penalty area, a few minutes into the second forty-five.
However, White Hart Lane’s finest remained a threat, ably demonstrated by Bawling’s delightful reverse flick dissecting Myles-Meekums and Beresford, to give Owusu time and space on the byline to pick out the incoming Georgios Aresti. Fortunately, the recently booked number eight fired behind without the aid of a deflection.
A little less than half-an-hour to go and Aresti was left regretting that earlier indiscretion, as he followed up a foul on Beresford with a bodycheck on Pattenden, to halt his progress on the right flank. The referee immediately issuing a second yellow card, succeeded by the inevitable red.
Staying on the same side of the pitch, Starkey played Pearce in to whip over a cross which Racine wasn’t able to direct on target.
Then, five minutes later, Worthing finally broke the deadlock against the division’s draw specialists.
Pearce took a throw-in on the right to Pattenden who laid it back for Ollie to cross and Djassi-Sambu headed it up in the air, with the ball dropping nicely for Beresford on the fringes of the eighteen yard box. He fooled Georgiou with a wonderful drag back, before his low delivery into the heart of the penalty area led to Scott Mitchell blocking Racine’s close range attempt but Kealy pouncing to bury the rebound.
Borough almost levelled the score, following Kpemou’s inch-perfect through ball, from marginally inside the host’s half that sent Georgiou scurrying into the box where he was met and kept out by Harrison Male. Bawling unable to keep his effort under the crossbar thanks to Male’s acrobatic tip over the top.
The North Londoners did have the ball in the net a short while later, only for an offside flag to rule out Richard’s goalbound glance.
Reds tried but failed to add to their tally in the closing stages, with one goal proving to be enough to overcome a resilient opposition and move ever closer to realising the dream.