WORTHING United Football Club sealed their second County League Division 1 victory of the season on Tuesday night, despite making hard work of it over basement side Chichester.
United eventually sealed the points after throwing away the lead twice but Lucas Mann’s brace and Liam Baitup’s strike earned a vital three points in a 3-2 win.
United joint manager Dave Shearing said: “We were pleased with three points and they are a big, massive even, three points.
“After that mini-break when we had two weeks off, we knew things were turning. Although we are still in a precarious position and not where we want to be, we need to keep going.
“We made hard work of it. We gave away a stupid penalty after we were 1-0 up at half-time, but almost threw it away. We are trying to win at a canter, rather than a gallop and need to tighten up a bit.”
United were ahead after eight minutes when Baitup sent the visitors into the lead.
Despite the early setback, Chichester levelled on 51 minutes when Dean Reed’s heels were clipped by goalkeeper Mark Oldroyd. The penalty was calmly dispatched by Chichester goalkeeper Matt Short.
But United were back in front nine minutes later, as a looping delivery forward by Roy Pook left Short struggling and the keeper fumbled the cross, which was headed in by Mann.
Chichester immediately struck back on 63 minutes through Dean Read’s composed volley, but United went back ahead two minutes later.
Chichester’s Joe Briggs, who was sent off on 85 minutes for a second booking, miscued his free kick from inside United’s half, which was pounced upon by Mann, who skipped past Short and sealed the win.
United joint manager Tobi Hutchinson felt they should have won their Division 1 match at Sidley on Saturday, but still came away satisfied with a point.
United were held 0-0 and could have taken all three points if Baitup had converted a late penalty.
Hutchinson said: “It was our most complete performance of the season, we should have won, really, but it was one of those days where it didn’t fall for us to finish off what we created.
“It was frustrating and although we could look at it at two points dropped, it’s probably a point gained.”
Mann had an effort cleared off the line, a Jay Head opening was scrambled away, Mann had another shot saved and was then fouled which led to Baitup’s penalty on 80 minutes.
The usually prolific front man, however, saw his spot-kick saved.
UNITED v Chichester: Oldroyd; Chapman, Head, Haffenden, Bywater; Thompson, Pook, Catt, Alexander; Baitup, Mann. Subs: Schaff (Baitup 84), Aghaeze (Alexander 85), Day (Thomson 86), Robertshaw, Rowe.
v Sidley: Oldroyd; Chapman, Head, Haffenden, Bywater; Thompson, Alexander; Catt, Mann, Robertshaw; Baitup. Subs: Aghaeze (Robertshaw 75), Gathern, Gilmour.