Both sides started the game brightly and had headed efforts come close, inside the opening 10’ minutes. First Worthing skipper Aaran Racine headed over, before Harrison Male denied The Albion from a set piece.
Despite coming into the game as underdogs, The Rebels were fearless in their approach and they were rewarded for their bright start. Reece Myles-Meekums was tugged down inside the area in the 23rd minute; earning himself a penalty. The Ismithian League’s top scorer; Ollie Pearce stepped up and converted cooly to give Hinshelwood’s men a deserved lead.
Brighton reacted well to going behind and just 7’ minutes later they were level. Lorent Tolaj cracked the ball home into the top corner, as he met a cross from the left flank emphatically.
Momentum was behind the Premier League youngster’s now and minutes later they came close to taking the lead. Todd Miller clipped the bar with a looping header over Male.
That was a warning sign of what was yet to come for The Mackerel Men, as in the 40th minute Brighton would take the lead. After a lapse in communication in the visitors back line, Tolaj raced through on goal and dispatched a venomous left footed effort beyond Male.
The Rebels were desperate to get back into proceedings and came out of the blocks with intent, at the start of the second half. Jasper Pattenden came close with an effort from a tight angle in the 54th minute.
However, the hosts capitalised on the reds missed chances, as they scored two quick fire goals early on in the half.
First, Cameron Peupion finished with composure, as he linked up with skipper Jack Spong in the 59th minute.
The game got away from Worthing just four minutes later, as The Albion made it four. Andrew Moran skipped past a couple of challenges inside the area, before sending Male the wrong way from 8’ yards out.
Worthing didn’t let the game get away from them though and they remained resilient in the latter stages. Joel Colbran stabbed home in the 83rd minute, following a corner to provide hope late on.
Worthing’s quest for a late comeback was made harder in stoppage time, as Pattenden saw red for a last man challenge.
It wasn’t meant to be for The Rebels and Brighton deservedly came out victors in a tough evening for The Ismithian League Champions.