WORTHING Football Club twice led before drawing 2-2 with loval rivals Bognor Regis in an entertaining local derby on Monday (December 27).
Bognor missed a glorious chance to take the lead in the Ryman League Division 1 South clash after just 39 seconds when Zac Beda’s poor back pass put Luke Nightingale clear on goal but he shot the one-on-one opening wide from 18 yards.
Bognor had the better of the early exchanges but Rebels grew into the game as the half wore on and went ahead after 28 minutes.
Kane Wills handled 20 yards from goal and John Lansdale beautifully curled the ball into the far corner for his second goal of the season.
That was the way things stayed until half-time but, after a double substitution at the break, Bognor came out fired up for the second half and levelled on 48 minutes.
James Crane crossed from the right and Nightingale glanced a header home from six yards.
Both sides missed chances to take the lead before Worthing went 2-1 ahead on 64 minutes.
Callum Saunders’ 35-yarder was parried by Bognor keeper Craig Stoner but Saunders raced in to fire home from a tight angle.
Nightingale headed an equalising chance wide five minutes later before Rocks levelled with six minutes left. Former Rebel Ben Johnson crossed from the left and Jason Prior nodded home from inside the six yard box.
Rebels thought they should have had a penalty a minute later when Dodd’s shot struck James Fraser but referee Ryan Ellis only awarded a corner and Bognor cleared the resulting danger.
The game drew a season-high crowd of 676.
Rebels did not have striker Chamal Fenelon in their squad as boss Chris White revealed afterwards that he is set to join Hastings.
Luke Gedling (ill) and Jamie Groves (ill; work commitments) also missed the match.