WORTHING Football Club recorded their second league win of the season despite a fourth red card in five games with a 2-1 win at home to Three Bridges on Wednesday (September 11).
A heavy downpour prior to kick-off meant a slippery surface but it was an inexperienced Rebels side that were out of the blocks quicker in the Ryman League South Division match. The first chance came after only nine minutes as a John Lansdale long throw evaded everyone but Martin Grant in the Bridges goal who parried the ball to Matt Daniel, but the winger’s shot was cleared off the line.
Rebels did open the scoring in the 14th minute as Chris O’Flaherty got to the by-line and crossed for Lansdale to shoot early and a significant deflection took the ball past Grant.
The hosts doubled their lead two minutes later when a quick throw saw skipper Jamie Crellin’s centre met by the lively Fred Barker inside the six yard box and the striker made no mistake.
Worthing were indebted to goalkeeper Simon Lehkyj in the 24th minute, however, as Elliott Romain outmuscled Charlie Cooke, but the home stopper spread himself well to deny Bridges the chance.
The visitors almost pulled one back with six minutes to go until the break when Lansdale’s underhit backpass found Ashley Bertrand-Kesington, but the striker skewed his effort well wide. Worthing had claims for a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time as Daniel went down, but the appeals were waved away by referee Stuart Jack.
An unforced error allowed the visitors to claw a goal back in the 55th minute as Cooke and Will Berry dithered over a clearance, allowing Lee Carney to square the ball to Romain who placed the ball past Lehkyj from 12 yards.
Things got tougher for Rebels in the 66th minute when an incensed Cooke made his feelings about a missed handball to the referee too vociferous and the official opted to give the centre-half his marching orders, the defender’s second in three games.
Worthing continued to give a good account of themselves despite the numerical disadvantage as Lansdale saw his powerful cross/shot tipped around the post by Grant.
Worthing weathered a couple of scares in stoppage time but were good value for their three points as joint boss Lee Brace explained after the game: “We showed a bit of desire tonight. I’m obviously disappointed with the sending-off and the goal we gave away, but we did well with ten men to be honest and, overall, I’m really pleased with the performance.”
WORTHING: Lehkyj; Lansdale, Cooke, Berry, O’Flaherty; Daniel, Gedling, Daniel, Crellin, Hayward; Barker, Pamment; Subs: Olafunmishe (Pamment 68), Murray (Barker 90), Pulling (Daniel 90), Dennis, Fagan.