Hillians completed their successful holiday comeback with this highly satisfying victory over a side who had gone nine games unbeaten on the road.
After a somewhat disappointing 2-1 defeat at Eastbourne Town on Boxing Day, Ian Chapman’s team followed up a heartening 1-1 draw at Ramsgate with this victory.
Both sides were keen to play good football and it produced a highly watchable derby for a season’s best Leylands Park crowd of 302.
Worthing took the lead a little against the run of play on 18 minutes when Hillians failed to deal with a free kick and the ball was scrambled in by visiting defender Steve Metcalf.
The hosts often produced some neat passing but the final pass let them down until the closing minutes of the first half when first Pat Harding was just wide from a one-on-one and then Sam Tucknott dragged a clear shooting chance wide.
Tucknott made way for Kai Bichard nine minutes into the second half and the super sub took less than two minutes to score for the second match running as this time the Rebels failed to deal with a free kick.
Six minutes later it appeared that Crawley referee Neil Wallace had awarded a penalty when Worthing’s Matt Hurley went down under a challenge by Stuart Tuck. The experienced home defender was livid with Hurley for what both he and Mr Wallace construed as a dive.