National League South Sat 3 December Westleigh Park
Havant & Waterlooville
  • Faal (77')
  • Kealy (27', 58', 75')
  • Dabre (88', 90')

Worthing travelled to Havant off the back of their first defeat in eight matches last time out against Chelmsford City.

The high-flying Hawks, sitting second in the league table, were most recently held to a 1-1 draw away at Tonbridge Angels.

Adam Hinshelwood made two changes to the eleven that started against Chelmsford City as Joe Rye and Moe Shubbar returned to the side in place of Luca Cocoracchio and Reece Meekums who dropped to the bench alongside Ibby Akanbi who was back in the matchday squad.

It was a cagey opening ten minutes as the Rebels were tasked with weathering the Hawks’ early storm. Chances fell to Billy Clifford and Muhammadu Faal in the opening ten minutes but neither effort could really test Harrison Male who gathered both comfortably.

Two of six first half bookings came on the ten-minute mark as Reds captain Aarran Racine and Danny Wright were both given yellows after handbags following a foul by the Worthing skipper.

It took the Reds 19 minutes to muster up their first genuine chance. Striker Kealy was forced wide after being sent in behind the Havant defence, he cut back to Mo Dabre who saw his effort easily saved.

That chance would however be the sign of things to come. Five minutes later, Shubbar was given the ball in the area before going down off a challenge, but the referee waved away the appeals and booked the winger for simulation.

The Rebels got the breakthrough on 27 minutes. A clinical counter-attack saw Shubbar feed through Kealy on the left. The striker cut inside on the edge of the area before unleashing an effort that flew past Brad House at the near post to send the travelling away supporters into raptures.

There was a moment to forget for the two Worthing centre backs in the 35th minute as Rye and Racine both went for the same ball. James Roberts latched onto the loose ball and drove forward before firing his shot wide of the far post.

Josh Chambers, who signed a one-month extension to his loan yesterday, was hoping to mirror his heroics of ten days previous as he lined up a free-kick some 25-yards out on 42 minutes. Another sweet dead-ball strike sailed towards the top left corner and forced a brilliant save from House in the Havant net.

On the brink of half time, Lewis White pounced on a loose pass before driving forward and forcing another top save from the Havant keeper to keep the score at 1-0 at the interval.

The Hawks started the second half much like they did the first as they piled the pressure on, looking for the equaliser. There were a couple of chances for Roberts and one for Wright but nothing that really tested for Male.

Just before the hour mark, it was Worthing who doubled their lead as they again hit the Hawks on the counter. White beat his man and crossed from the byline into Dabre who laid it off to Chambers in a better position. The young midfielder saw his effort blocked but straight into the path of Kealy who slotted past House to double his tally in front of a ballistic away end.

Hinshelwood immediately made a couple of changes as he replaced White and Shubbar with Ollie Pearce and Meekums.

It was some 15 minutes after when Kealy made himself a hattrick hero. A move that started with the ball in the hands of Male saw the Reds transition brilliantly from defence to attack with white shirts chasing shadows. Pearce was played in behind before he unselfishly laid it on a plate for Kealy to complete a fine hattrick.

There was an instant reply from the home side and in bizarre fashion as Faal’s header floated over Male into the net.

The goal struck a response from the home side who looked to get themselves back into the game with some ten minutes left on the clock.

Chambers was replaced by Sammie McLeod with Hinshelwood’s final change on 81 minutes.

In the 83rd minute, Jake McCarthy fired an effort from distance that struck the upright of the Worthing goal.

Three minutes later, Faal nearly doubled his own tally as he met Paul Rooney’s cross with a header that struck the bar.

It was the Reds, though, that capped off a fine performance in style with a quickfire Dabre double.

On 88 minutes, Meekums broke from his own half and went through one-on-one with House. His effort was saved but the ball was kept alive and squared to Dabre who couldn’t miss from close range.

Just before the whistle, the Rebels were sent into dreamland with Dabre’s second. Meekums cut the ball back to the Swindon Town loanee who beat his man, before finishing in style in front of the Worthing faithful.

In what can only be described as an emphatic victory, this is a day that will live long in the memory of Rebels supporters.

The Reds are back at Woodside on Tuesday night as they welcome table-toppers Ebbsfleet United to The Crucial Environmental Stadium.