After ending a six-game winless run away at Dulwich Hamlet in midweek, the Reds were looking to pick up a second home league win as they welcomed Slough Town to Woodside. The visitors made the trip to the South Coast off the back of four straight league defeats.
Manager Adam Hinshelwood was forced into changes as goalkeeper Harrison Male (shoulder) and defender James Beresford (ankle) missed out with injury.
Cameron Tutt, Moe Shubbar, and Mo Jammeh returned to the side, while goalkeeper Alieu Secka, who has been training with the club having dual-signed with Lancing FC, made his Worthing debut covering for the injured Male. Callum Kealy and Sammie McLeod dropped to the bench.
It was a lightening quick, end-to-end start to proceedings with both sides creating good chances in the first five minutes.
The first of which went Slough’s way, with George Wells picking up the ball in the box. He did all he could to find enough space to get his shot away but could not evade the scrambling defenders, Joe Rye and Luca Cocoracchio who managed to deflect it wide.
It was just a minute or so later when Reece Meekums superbly set up a counter, working tirelessly in his own half before driving forward and spotting Javaun Splatt in space on the right. Splatt targeted Jammeh at the far post with his cross but Jammeh couldn’t control his shot from close range and hit it over.
On the seventh minute, Meekums was at the heart of the action once more, this time he was sent in behind the Slough defence on the left. His cross struck the arm of defender Guy Hollis, and the referee did not hesitate before pointing to the spot.
Splatt stepped up to take it and sent keeper Rhys Forster the wrong way as he rolled the ball into the net to put the Reds ahead.
Unfortunately for Hinshelwood’s side, the lead lasted just five minutes. A ball over the top towards Ben Harris had caused Secka to come out of his area to try to deal with it. He collided with the on-rushing Harris and saw yellow.
Scott Davies stood over the free kick on the edge of the area and nicely curled a low effort around the wall and into the bottom right corner to make it 1-1.
Two minutes later, the Reds nearly retook the lead. Tutt’s cross found Splatt who laid it off neatly for Ibby Akanbi to fire at goal, but his powerful effort was hit straight at Forster in the Slough net.
On 25 minutes, defender Danny Barker was forced off with an injury. He was replaced by Dan Bowry.
The next 20 minutes saw Worthing dominate with large spells of possession, without creating anything clear-cut. Akanbi and Splatt had half-chances in the area, but nothing to trouble Forster in goal.
On the brink of the half, Meekums did force a good save from the Slough keeper as he cut inside from the left and curled his right-footed shot towards the bottom right corner. Akanbi followed up but missed over the bar once more and the sides went into the break on level terms.
It was some ten minutes into the second half when Splatt was sent one-on-one with the keeper by Akanbi. Splatt did well to take it around Forster to the right, but by doing so, had closed the angle for his shot and hit the side netting.
On 58 minutes, Slough took the lead. Matt Lench’s shot from the edge of the area struck the post at the bottom right corner. The ball rebounded straight into the path of Josh Jackman who slotted it home to put the away side ahead.
Hinshelwood rang the changes five minutes later as he turned to Kealy and Pearce off the bench, replacing Splatt and Jammeh.
But the momentum stayed with the away side. Johnny Goddard had two very good chances in the space of two minutes. His first was a curled effort from the left towards the bottom right corner that went narrowly wide. Two minutes later, he was sent one-on-one with Secka but missed the target once more.
From there, the Reds fought back and took control as they sought an equaliser. First, a Pearce cross found Akanbi in the area, but his shot went over the bar.
On 71 minutes, Shubbar’s corner was played along the ground into Pearce in the box, he worked it onto his left foot, but his shot was cleared off the line.
Five minutes later, the Reds found the breakthrough to get back onto level terms. It came from another Shubbar corner, this time lofted into the box and Bowry’s glancing header past Forster made it 2-2.
As the game was coming to its conclusion, Worthing were in the ascendancy and pushing for the winner. With five minutes left, Meekums cut inside from the right and shot left-footed but straight at Forster.
In added time, it looked like Worthing might have won it as Pearce met Shubbar’s floated cross but the header narrowly, and agonisingly for the Worthing faithful, just wide of the upright.
Pearce drove forward once more for the Reds with time running out, he pushed the ball onto his left foot from a central area, but the shot was saved well and the final whistle was blown at 2-2.
The Rebels are back in action at The Crucial Environmental Stadium on Tuesday night as they play host to Tonbridge Angels.