National League South Sat 6 April Huish Park Stadium
  • Fisher (84')
  • Pearce (15', 90+7')
  • Dolaghan (45')

The Rebels came to Huish Park looking to spoil the Glovers’ party following back-to-back wins over Easter weekend. The home side knew that victory against the Rebels would see them crowned as champions of the National League South. They had half an eye on events at Melbourne Stadium too, knowing that the title could be clinched without victory should Chelmsford City have dropped points.

Aarran Racine was forced into making two changes to the side that beat Hampton & Richmond on Easter Monday. Kodi Lyons-Foster and Jack Wadham missed out, with Joe Rye and Kane Wills filling in.

The Rebels were under the cosh in the early moments as the hosts looked to get off to a flying start. There were chances for Sam Pearson and Frank Nouble in the first quarter of an hour, but none of which troubled Ollie Wright between the sticks.

Then, against the run of play, the Rebels were awarded a penalty as Ollie Pearce was brought down as he entered the box. The league’s top-scorer took it upon himself to fire his side in front from 12 yards, thus silencing the Yeovil supporters who were already in party mode.

The next half hour was one of backs-to-the-wall football from the Reds who had a clear objective of keeping the ball as far away from their goal as possible for the remainder of the first half. The home side’s best chance during this period was another for Nouble, but he again fired over.

As the clock ticked into injury time in the first half, the Reds unleashed Joe Felix down the right flank for what felt like the first time all afternoon. Felix’s pace forced an error at the back from the Glovers and he capitalised fully, laying Brad Dolaghan on a plate to poke into the empty net for the 19-year-old’s third goal in two games.

And like that, Worthing took an unlikely two-goal lead into the break!

It was a nervy start to the second half and just five minutes in, the hosts were awarded a penalty when Wills brought down half-time substitute Rhys Murphy with a late challenge. Murphy stepped up to take it himself but Worthing keeper Ollie Wright made a stunning save from 12 yards to maintain the two-goal advantage!

The Rebels rallied and chances followed for Danny Cashman, Joel Colbran and Felix in a two-minute spell but none of the trio could further extend the lead.

On 71 minutes, Racine turned to his bench for fresh legs, switching Jack Spong with Finlay Chadwick. Five minutes later, goalscorer Dolaghan was swapped with Greg Luer.

Into the final ten minutes, Murphy thought he pulled one back for his side but the referee had blown for the attacker’s foul on Wright which had allowed him an empty net to convert into.

A minute later, though, the Glovers did have their goal to set up a nervy finish. Substitute Alex Fisher headed in for the hosts from close range.

The Rebels remained a threat on the counter-attack in the dying embers. Cashman broke away with the ball before slotting in Felix to race onto one in behind. Glovers keeper Joe Day came out to tighten the angle and made a good save, parrying wide.

Seven minutes of added time were announced before Racine made his final change, replacing Felix with Cameron Tutt.

On 93 minutes, Morgan Williams came close to haunting the Rebels in injury time for the second time this season. His header, in almost identical fashion to Fisher’s goal, went just wide of the far post.

Then came the moment the hosts thought they’d equalised. With Chelmsford having conceded late at home to Slough, Murphy’s goal would have clinched the title, but this time, the assistant referee’s flag was up for offside and Worthing held on!

After breathing a huge sigh of relief, Worthing broke away once more in added time and, with the final kick of the game, Pearce netted goal number 38 of the season to seal a remarkable victory at Huish Park!

Racine’s side have a week on the road coming up, with a trip to Dartford on Tuesday night, before travelling to St Albans on Saturday in a crunch match in the battle for the play-offs.