WORTHING Football Club scored twice in the final 13 minutes on Tuesday evening to move into the Ryman League Division 1 South play-off places.
The win increased Rebels’ unbeaten run to six league games but, just seconds before Worthing equalised, lowly Croydon should have doubled their lead. George Landais broke clean through and could have squared to Tony Cuff or Connor French, with both waiting for a simple tap in, but Landais shot and Alan Mansfield saved his low effort with his feet.
Croydon were made to pay immediately as Worthing went straight down the other end and, from John Lansdale’s long throw, Jamie Brotherton acrobatically fired home after the ball dropped to him eight yards out.
Rebels then got their winner from another Lansdale long throw with eight minutes to go. Brotherton headed against the bar and Tom Lawley was on hand to nod home from a yard.
Rebels had failed to get going in the first half, although still created chances and Luke Gedling was denied by Croydon keeper Charlie Mann when through one-on-one.
Croydon took the lead on 38 minutes when Connor French slid home Billy Marshall’s low cross.
Rebels came out fired up at the start of the second half and created several openings. Tom Manton blazed over from close-range, Lawley’s cross-shot from the right was well saved and Brotherton dinked just wide when one-on-one with Mann, before the late drama.
Worthing boss Chris White said: “We made hard work of it but played well in the second half, after we were awful in the first half.
“These are the games we need to be winning but we can’t just turn up and expect to win as there’s no easy games in this league.
“We got ourselves out of jail tonight, although I felt we deserved it on our second-half performance.”
On moving into the top five, White said: “We’re a quarter of the way through the season and, if we can replicate this form through the next three-quarters of the season, we’ll be up there challenging.”
Rebels travel to eighth-placed Chipstead on Saturday and are then at 15th-placed Sittingbourne on Tuesday. Striker Ryan McBride is suspended for both matches.
WORTHING: Mansfield; Lansdale, Kennett, Hurley, Metcalf; Lawley, Budd, Manton, Gedling; McBride, Brotherton. Subs: Davies (McBride 86), Charles (Brotherton 90), Huckett, Pulling, Franks. Att: 147.