National League South Fri 29 March Draper Tools Community Stadium
Havant & Waterlooville
  • Willson (43')
  • Pearce (11', 70')
  • Willard (52')
  • Cashman (78')
  • Chadwick (90+1')

Both sides came into the day desperate for three points, but for two very different reasons at the start of the Easter weekend.

After five losses in seven matches, and the departure of legendary manager Adam Hinshelwood, Worthing’s play-off position had become less secure – dropping from the top three to sixth place in the Vanarama National League South, in the last few weeks.
As for the hosts, their perilous position could see them relegated come full-time on Easter Monday.

The league’s top goal scorer, Ollie Pearce blazed a golden opportunity for the Rebels to get back on track, over the bar inside seven minutes, after the ball fell to him on the edge of the six-yard box, following a corner.

Thankfully, misses like that are uncanny for Pearce and five minutes later he had Worthing in front.

Jack Spong cut in from the right flank and delivered a pin-point cross for the incoming Pearce, who flew in and headed home in front of the jubilant away end.

Havant responded well and in the eighteenth minute they could’ve levelled the scoring through former Red, Callum Kealy, who was denied by an excellent sliding block from Joe Rye.

After sustained pressure and several missed opportunities, the Hawks eventually found an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
Centre-backs: Joe Mcnerney and Brendan Wilson combined, and the latter made no mistake as he swept past the helpless Ollie Wright from close range, meaning it would be all square as both sides went in for half-time.

Havant carried their positive momentum into the start of the second half and the widespread frame of Wright was needed to deny striker Ryan Seager from hooking home from the right-hand side of the area, in the 49th minute.

That save proved to be crucial as minutes later, a quickly taken free kick from the experienced Kane Wills found substitute Tommy Willard over the top.

The midfielder took one touch, before blasting past Ross Worner with aplomb to give the Mackerel Men their lead back against the run of play!

In the 69th minute, a fabulous outside of the boot pass from Joe Felix found Pearce in behind the host’s backline; allowing the forward to skilfully work his way into the box before being chopped to the ground; winning a clear penalty.

Confidently, Pearce stepped up and converted his tenth penalty of the season, sending Worner the wrong way as he doubled his tally for the afternoon and Worthing’s advantage.

A fourth came in the 78th minute after another superb pass from Felix found Danny Cashman beyond the Hawks’ back-line.

Cashman didn’t hesitate as he flicked the ball, first time past the goalkeeper to net his third goal of the week!

The rampant Rebels were much improved in the second half compared to their first half display and deservedly led by a three-goal margin, at the heart everything good for the visitors was Felix who Havant simply couldn’t handle – reflected in the 80th minute when Jack Jebb was cautioned for pulling his shirt so much it almost came off!

Worthing held onto their 4-1 lead with ease in the closing stages, and even found themselves a fifth in stoppage time.

This time, Finlay Chadwick was the grateful recipient of another delightful ball in-behind the bruised Havant back-line.

The youngster composed himself before delicately lobbing the ball over the top of Horner and into the net, before wheeling off into acrobatic celebrations to round off an amazing afternoon for the Reds!

As for Havant, their fate appears bleak, remaining seven points adrift of safety.