WORTHING Football Club suffered a 4-2 defeat at home to high-flying Leatherhead in Ryman League South Division this afternoon.
Six players made their home debuts for Rebels and Adam Hinshelwood’s young side put in a performance which will encourage a season-high home crowd of 321.
Rebels keeper Jack Fagan was quick off his line to deny Ian Draycott on seven minutes but the visitors went ahead just four minutes later through Tom Bradbrook.
The home side responded well and Lloyd Dawes had a header from a George Gaskin cross clawed away by Leatherhead keeper Deren Ibrahim on 15 minutes.
Worthing levelled on 19 minutes when Will Hendon was brought down in the penalty area after a bright attacking move, and Mark Knee scored from the spot - which was the first of three penalties in the game.
Rebels almost went ahead immediately but, after Omar Bugiel’s clever reverse pass, Gaskin, on the stretch, fired just wide of the far post from 20 yards.
Brannon O’Neill then grazed the far post with a low 20-yarder after a move involving Gaskin and Bugiel on 34 minutes. O’Neill was denied by Ibrahim two minutes later after Max Howell nipped in to set up the chance following hestitation in the Leatherhead defence.
It was not all one-way traffic, though, as Leatherhead always looked dangerous up front. Jamie Coyle headed a corner over at the back post on 39 minutes, before Leatherhead went ahead within a minute. Rebels gave the ball away far too easily and Darren Smith side-footed home from 15 yards after the ball ricocheted into his path.
The visitors extended their lead three minutes into the second when Smith got his second from the penalty spot after a foul on Ryan Mahal.
Dawes fired straight at Ibrahim after O’Neill had dummied Bugiel’s pass on 57 minutes, before Rebels were awarded their second spot-kick on 71 minutes.
Gaskin’s shot was deflected into the path of O’Neill, who got to the ball just before Ibrahim and referee Stephen Rubery pointed to the spot. Knee sent Ibrahim the wrong way for his second successful penalty of the afternoon.
Rebels pushed for a equaliser as Gaskin had a low 20-yard shot comfortably saved and sub Kieron Pamment’s cross-shot was pushed behind for a corner by Ibrahim.
But Leatherhead sealed their win in the third minute of injury-time when Rebels’ Corey Heath gifted possession to Mohamed Elisa, who ran through, rounded Fagan and tapped home.
WORTHING: Fagan; Hendon, Heath, Cody, Knee; Bugiel, Carey, O’Neill, Howell; Gaskin, Dawes. Subs: Pamment, Peake (Dawes, Howell 67), Berry, Williams, Bant.