National League South Tue 22 November The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Beresford (3')
  • Kealy (17')
  • Chambers (24')
Tonbridge Angels
  • Arnasibia (13')
  • Greenidge (90')

The Reds came into the fixture in scintillating form having won each of their last five fixtures in all competitions, most recently defeating Dover 3-0 away from home on Tuesday night.

The hosts meanwhile, were in their own spell of good form – undefeated in their last five fixtures, including their victory on penalties against League Two Gillingham in midweek.

Adam Hinshelwood made three changes to the side that beat Dover on Tuesday. With Joe Rye missing with a hamstring injury, his place was vacant for Dan Bowry to return to the starting eleven. Joining him were Danny Barker and Lewis White who replaced Reece Meekums and Callum Kealy.

Worthing controlled plenty of the ball in the opening stages, settling quickly on the 3G surface. They earned themselves a couple of corners before Ollie Pearce was played in behind by Joel Colbran, but the attacker was challenged before he could get his shot off.

The Reds found their inspiration 22 minutes in when Josh Chambers dribbled excellently from inside his own half to the edge of the area, dancing past tackles. He played the ball out to the right, finding Davide Rodari who bounced it straight to tee up Wills on the edge of the box. The midfielder curled it past Jonathan Henly for his second goal in as many games.

Wills was at the heart of the action again on the half-hour mark when he set up Pearce from the right-hand side of the box. The striker’s shot was blocked before he laid the ball forward to Rodari who couldn’t connect cleanly, and the ball trickled out for a goal kick.

There was an incident in the 6-yard box following a Tonbridge corner on 38 minutes. The foul was given against Ruben Soares-Junior but Harrison Male and Colbran were visibly suggesting that the attacker had used his elbow against the Rebels keeper. After a chat with his assistant, the referee gave Soares-Junior and Colbran both a talking-to and waved play on.

Up the other end, Chambers brought the ball down in the box but was tackled before getting a shot away and the Reds would remain just one ahead at the break.

Tonbridge started the second half the brighter of the two sides with early chances from a free-kick and corner being headed just wide.

The Angels got their reward for their positive start to the second half just before the hour mark. Male came out to punch clear a deep free-kick but the ball fell to Tariq Hinds who hit it on the volley and into the vacant goal.

Hinshelwood responded with a change, replacing Reuben Livesy Austin with James Beresford.

Two big chances for Pearce followed and were both met with important stops by Henly. The first, from a tight angle, was parried over before being sent one-on-one a minute later. Henly stayed big to make the save.

Hinshelwood then made his second change on the 67th minute and final change on 74 minutes. First, bringing on Kealy in place of Rodari before replacing Chambers with Ibby Akanbi.

But, it was Tonbridge who took the lead five minutes later. Lewis Gard pinched back possession on the halfway line and dribbled forward before playing through Joe Turner. He took it in his stride before firing past Male to give the home side the lead.

The Reds struggled to create a good chance to get themselves back in the contest and fell to their first defeat of 2023. They return home on Saturday as they welcome St. Albans City to Woodside.