Worthing were looking to build on the weekends 1-1 draw to Taunton Town and started the game brightly as the ball was worked down the wing to Juan Luque who was able to pick out the lively Joe Felix, but his volley sailed over the bar. Two minutes later Felix and the hosts were made to pay as the fullback lost the ball in his own area to Matt Hastle who clinically dispatched in off the post.
The Marigolds frustrated the Rebels for large parts of the first half as they utilised a low block, breaking up the hosts build-up play as much as possible. Bailey Smith seemed to be targeted as he was on the end of some robust challenges, one of which bought outrage from the home support as Marshall Ball received the game’s first yellow card.
And it was a Smith foul that led to Worthing’s equaliser as he was bought down by Jordan Layton a few yards outside the visitors’ area. Layton seemed to stay down for a while with the home fans bemoaning the away sides’s tactics, crying for the ref to do something about it. Their frustrations soon turned to jubilation as Ricky Aguiar sent a sumptuous freekick flying into the top right-hand side of Boughton’s net with the keeper annoyed at himself after getting a hand to it.
Order seemed to be restored but Littlehampton hadn’t seemed to have read the script as Layton instantly launched a long throw into the Worthing penalty area with George Gaskin swivelling and volleying against the bar. The Rebels seemed to not learn their lesson as the away side utilised the long throw again with confusion in the area being concluded with a penalty to Littlehampton. The busy Layton stepped up and coolly side footed into the left-hand side of Roco Rees’s goal, on the stroke of half-time.
The hosts felt they should’ve had a penalty in the 49th minute but referee James Kerten waved away any protests before approaching Adam Hinshelwood about his conduct in the technical area. Frustration seemed to grow from there as The Rebels failed to create any meaningful chances, with their best effort coming from scorer Aguiar who’s speculative effort fired narrowly wide 15 minutes from the end.
Three minutes later saw the biggest cheer of the half from the 607 in attendance as villain of the piece Boughton was finally booked for timewasting. This cheer was soon topped as talisman Ollie Pearce announced himself by bundling in the equaliser from close range in the 84th minute, 20 minutes after coming on. Temperatures went up a notch after Pearce’s goal, but Littlehampton managed to hold out for penalties with Boughton becoming the hero as he saved Michael Klass’ tame effort a few days after the midfielder received a red card for an off-the-field incident.
Littlehampton Will play the winners of Bognor Regis vs Whitehawk FC at the Terra Punta Ground on the 13th December.
Next up for Hinshelwood’s side is a home game against Chippenham Town on Saturday.