Horsham exited the Sussex Senior Cup with a whimper as they suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Worthing tonight.
Rebels eased to a deserved second-round victory at a rain-soaked Gorings Mead through a goal in each half from Brannon O’Neill and Tariq Richards.
The Hornets were without the injured Tony Nwachukwu, Gary Charman, Lewis Hamilton or Jamie Hills, while Farzad Bidgood was cup tied and Max Miller suspended.
Rebels meanwhile boasted a strong bench after making five changes from their late league win over Whyteleafe on Saturday as Matt Piper, Matt Axell, James Nicholls, Richards and Jazz Rance all came into the side.
Horsham stopper Gareth Williams was first called into action on eight minutes and was almost undone by the conditions as O’Neill’s corner slipped through his hands, but Byron Napper was well placed to hook off the line and spare the keeper’s blushes.
At the other end, Kieron Tarbie shot straight at Jack Fagan from outside the area and the keeper collected well.
Sensible refereeing then saw Worthing captain Piper booked for a tackle where he caught Billy-Joe King, with the conditions clearly taken into account by Leigh Crowhurst.
On 15 minutes, a ball in behind stand-in full-back Ryan Marriott put Rance through on goal, but Gareth Williams pushed away his angled shot across goal where it was cleared away.
The Horsham stopper then pushed away another dangerously-angled corner from O’Neill.
On 20 minutes, the visitors should have gone ahead as a neat move in midfield saw Rance spring the offside trap and go through one on one, but miss-hit his shot straight at a grateful Gareth Williams.
Worthing continued to ask questions and O’Neill sent a strong effort sailing towards goal from 35 yards which Gareth Williams was happy to see crash off the top of the bar and behind.
Troy Williams also picked up a booking on 39 minutes for a rash tackle on Rance on the near touchline.
On 42 minutes, Ade Akande didn’t get quite enough on a clearance and Trevor McCreadie drove into the area, but fired straight at Gareth Williams.
Worthing took the lead a minute later as Horsham undid all their good work defensively as Terry Dodd’s lofted cross from the left of the box found the onrushing O’Neill at the far post, who had the simple task of nodding home.
The home side started with some renewed vigour after the break, although couldn’t find the final ball when getting into dangerous positions with Piper putting in a couple of vital tackles at right-back.
A good interchange between Marriott and Jamie Ampleford saw Corey Heath penalised for a foul on the edge of the box, but Tom Gilbert’s effort was straight at Fagan.
On 59 minutes, Napper released Smith on the left and the winger twisted and turned while driving into the area and Fagan got down well to push around the post.
But two minutes later, the home side found themselves two-goals down as Dodd’s ball from the left was dummied by McCreadie and Richards lashed home via the underside of the bar.
Rebels then turned the screw as substitute Lloyd Dawes’ square ball found the unmarked Ben Pope, who had also just come on, but he turned wide from five yards.
Smith, who looked Horsham’s only spark, then produced another mazy run on 75 minutes as he skipped past three Worthing players from just inside their half and Fagan pulled off another smart stop to deny him.
Napper almost set up a grand-stand finish on 80 minutes as he latched onto a long ball and got the first touch past an onrushing Fagan, but his effort rolled just wide.
At the end other, Gareth Williams saved well with his legs as Pope sprung the offside trap with four minutes left.
But Rebels had done enough to book their place in the third round and avenge their Ryman League Cup defeat by Horsham for a second time following October’s victory in the league.
Horsham: G.Williams, Marriott (Wicking 75), Akande, Gilbert, King, T.Williams (Frankland 68), Tarbie, Napper, Morley, Smith, Ampleford. Unused subs: Varley, Hawthorne.
Worthing: Fagan, Piper, Heath (Berry 77), Nicholls, Sparks, Richards (Dawes 65), Axell, O’Neill, Rance, McCreadie (Pope 62), Dodd. Unused subs: Berry, Gayler, Bugiel. Attd: 153.