National League South Sat 6 January Sussex Transport Community Stadium
  • Pearce (26', 90+6')
  • Hockey (1')
  • Ruff (18')
  • Francis (83')

Manager Adam Hinshelwood’s cry for his team to put a run of good results together were shattered by Chelmsford, as the Clarets left 3-2 winners.

Worthing came into the game knowing that defeat would mean City would overtake them by one point, but the match couldn’t have started worse for the hosts as in the first minute Charlie Ruff played a delicate through ball to Freddie Hockey to make it 1-0.

The goal came from the Rebels being caught in their own half with a loose ball from Jake Robinson after some slick passing to break the Chelmsford press, making it not the ideal start for debutant goalkeeper Josh Jeffries.

17 minutes later things went from bad to worse to use a footballing cliché, as Ruff made it 2-0 after Jeffries could only palm a shot into the path of the appropriately named forward who tapped in. Throughout the game Ruff seemed to play on the edge, provoking a little kick out from Odei Sorondo not long after his goal.

Luckily for Sorondo, referee Lewis Sandoe didn’t notice the incident which wouldn’t have impressed manager Hinshelwood given his previous appeal to his players to not get involved in altercations.

Worthing needed some inspiration and they found it through star man Ollie Pearce in the 26th minute with a brilliant header in off the post with a move that was started by a brilliant challenge from Sorondo in this opposite area. Pearce added to his impressive tally to make it 17 goals in 23 appearances which seemed to spark his side into life.

Robinson was booked in the 34th minute for protesting for a penalty when Ben Brookes blocked a goal-bound shot with the home side claiming he handled it.

Both keepers seemed nervy throughout the game, highlighted in 40th minute when Henry Gray missed a cross leaving the goal gaping for Robinson, but he was unaware of the error so couldn’t capitalise.

The Rebels couldn’t carry this energy into the second half as they struggled to create meaningful chances, Greg Luer being presented with the biggest opening, as he smartly cut in from the left, but his shot went sailing off into one of the neighbouring back gardens.

There were cries for a sending-off in the 60th minute as Robinson looked to go clean through following a flick-on but was cynically tripped by City skipper Dave Winfield who may have been lucky to escape with just a yellow.

In a quiet second half Chelmsford were happy to sit back and rely on their excellent defensive record having conceded the least goals in the league (25). Worthing’s only other opportunity being a Robinson header ten minutes from the end which he frustratingly got underneath, and flicked over.

The game was wrapped up in the 83rd minute when Jermaine Francis tapped in from close range as The Rebels struggled to clear the ball when Fin Barbrook’s shot came off the woodwork.

The final kick of the game was a silver lining for the home support as Pearce fired in an excellent free kick from just outside the area for his 18th league goal, but it was too little too late.

Next up for the Rebels is a long away trip to Truro City on Saturday 13th January.

Attendance: 1,774