WORTHING Football Club eased to a comfortable 3-0 home victory on Saturday (February 16) over a poor Chipstead side, who were devoid of many attacking ideas at Woodside Road.
The game started slowly as both sides struggled to get a foothold, although Chipstead did create one of their few half-chances after just four minutes as Josh Andrews’ cross made Josh James flap a little, but the ball was easily cleared to safety by Steve Metcalf.
Rebels should have had a penalty after 13 minutes when Dan Dean climbed all over Billy Medlock but referee Green waved away Worthing’s appeals.
Worthing took the lead in the 24th minute when Paul Kennett’s superb cross-field ball found Tom Lawley, who slipped the ball neatly to Jamie Brotherton and the winger deftly chipped the on-rushing Martin Grant.
Rebels doubled their advantage just two minutes later when Brotherton once again found himself in space on the right hand side of the Chipstead box and placed the ball into the bottom corner of Grant’s goal.
Rebels should have extended their lead just beyond the half-hour but Chris O’Flaherty could not get the ball out from under his feet, allowing Grant to recover and make a smart save at his near post.
Scott Kirkwood was the next to miss a golden chance just before the break as Lawley played him in but his shot was straight at Grant when a square ball to a free Brotherton may have been a better option.
The second period began as a stalemate as Rebels realised that their opponents were not going to score and therefore they did not need to, but chances still came the way of the hosts, with Grant a resolute barrier.
Rebels’ Nat Hubert saw his powerful header acrobatically tipped around the post on 65 minutes but Chipstead’s day went from bad to worse as centre-half Devon Williams received a straight red card for hauling down Medlock as the striker was clean through on goal with quarter-of-an hour left.
The visitors’ defences were finally breached as substitute Matt Daniel slotted the ball home with just nine minutes to go after a decent centre from Kirkwood.
Grant still had time to pull off another fantastic save from a Kirkwood header in injury-time, but the points were always going the way of the home side.
Worthing joint manager Kieran Collins was pleased with the win and said: “We played well in patches and I thought that everyone put in a good shift.
“Jamie Brotherton took his goals well but all-round the players should be happy with their performance. If we keep up that form, the play-offs could be within our reach.”
Rebels are at Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday and then travel to bottom-of-the-table Three Bridges on Tuesday.
WORTHING: James; Metcalf, Hurley, Cooke, Hubert; Lawley, Kirkwood, Kennett, O’Flaherty; Brotherton, Medlock. Subs: Daniel (O’Flaherty 69), Bryant, Pamment (Hubert, Brotherton 83), Slaughter, Simpson. Att: 198.