Worthing traveled to Berkshire after picking up five points from their last three games. While their hosts had lost each of their last four games.
First-team boss, Adam Hinshelwood made six changes to his side that drew at home to Slough Town as Alieu Secka, Cameron Tutt, Danny Barker, and Javaun Splatt missed out, while Mo Jammeh and Moe Shubbar dropped to the bench.
It was announced before the game that Worthing had signed midfielder Josh Chamber on a month-long loan deal from Gillingham. He made his full Worthing debut alongside Adam Adam, while Harrison Male, Arran Racine, Conrad Honore, and Ollie Pearce all returned to the starting eleven.
In the difficult wet and gloomy conditions at Bulpit Lane, it was the hosts who made the better start. Their first chance came just some twenty seconds in when Sammy Ompreon cut inside from the left before firing at keeper Male.
Then, ten minutes in Ompreon won the hosts a free kick on the edge of the area. Jake Evans stood over it and forced another save from Male, diving to his bottom left corner to parry out for a corner kick.
The Crusaders continued to dominate for much of the opening half hour. On 15 minutes, Joel Rollinson’s cross found Ompreon in the area, but he was challenged well by Racine in the air. The ball landed at the feet of Kane Wills who could do nothing but divert it for another Hungerford corner.
Ten minutes later, Evans crossed in from the left towards Rollinson whose header was deflected wide by Luca Cocoracchio. The corner that followed caused a scramble in the area that could have easily seen the opening goal scored but the Reds eventually cleared.
On the half-hour mark, the Rebels made their first real chance, Pearce played the ball to Reece Meekums on the left who laid it inside to Ibby Akanbi, forming a nice triangle. The striker drove forward before releasing his shot that went just wide of the upright.
A minute later, Akanbi was involved again. This time he met Wills’ corner with a glancing header that went narrowly over the crossbar.
On 37 minutes, Wills and Akanbi linked up once more from a set-piece. This time Wills’ free-kick from a deep position on the right had found its way to Akanbi whose effort was cleared off the line!
Five minutes later, Akanbi was again at the heart of a Worthing move. He held the ball up well before laying it to Adam who worked it out to the right, finding Pearce at the edge of the area. Pearce found Akanbi’s run with a through ball but his shot was blocked and deflected wide for a corner.
It was the Rebels then, that had looked to have weathered the hosts’ early storm and had the momentum as the two sides headed into the break.
Five minutes after the interval, Curtis Angell slotted Niko Muir in on goal but Male did well to deny him before another scramble in the area where Worthing managed to eventually clear.
Some ten minutes later, Adam’s cross from the right somehow managed to evade everyone in the area. Chambers picked up the loose ball on the left and played it inside to Meekums whose shot was blocked.
On 62 minutes, Adam beat his man beautifully down the right before playing Pearce inside. Pearce drove forward and work the ball onto his left foot before firing over.
It was in the 68th minute when Hinshelwood rang the changes. Adam and Pearce were replaced by Callum Kealy and Shubbar.
As both teams began to search for the all-important breakthrough, the game opened up and there were chances for both sides in the final 15 minutes. First, a chance for the hosts, through Rollinson on the right side of the area but the covering Honore did brilliantly to block the shot.
In the 84th minute, Meekums spotted Chambers in space on the edge of the box and the opportunity appeared for him to pull the trigger, but he shot over.
Two minutes later, the final Worthing change was made as Sammie McLeod replaced Akanbi.
On the brink of injury time, Shubbar’s effort from outside the box was a difficult one for goalkeeper Simon Grant to deal with in the wet conditions with the ball bouncing in front of him. He couldn’t hold onto it at the first attempt but managed to gather it before Kealy could pounce.
As we headed into added time the game was still somehow goalless! The hosts’ chance late on was cleared off the line magnificently by Kealy following a corner.
Then, the Reds broke away. Kealy held up the ball on the halfway line before playing in Chambers who dribbled past four defenders on his way to the penalty area where his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Two great chances followed before the full-time whistle. First, from the resulting corner, the ball fell to Shubbar who looked destined to score but yet again the Reds saw an attempt blocked.
After recycling possession, the Rebels worked the ball to Wills on the left side of the box, his shot was brilliantly tipped wide of the post by Grant and the referee blew the full-time whistle to end one of the more dramatic nil-nils.
Next up for Hinshelwood’s side is Oxford City at The Crucial Environmental Stadium on Tuesday night.