Worthing Football Club returned to winning ways in the Ryman League Premier Division at Woodside Road this evening.
Heading into the clash, Worthing were without a win in two matches following a draw with Folkestone Invicta, then a defeat at Needham Market but efforts from Brannon O’Neill, Sam Rents and Lloyd Dawes got them back on the winning trail.
Worthing were made to work hard after a couple of errors from Rikki Banks handed Jimmy Bullard’s Leatherhead side a couple of lifelines but the home side held on to a record a 3-2 victory.
O’Neill fired Worthing into an early lead as his superb 25-yard free-kick went over the wall and into the bottom corner on four minutes.
The home side came close to doubling their lead six minutes later. O’Neill’s corner was met by a towering header from Corey Heath, only for his effort to come off the underside of the bar and stay out.
Worthing did not have to wait much longer as they got a second on 14 minutes. Harvey Sparks pulled back for Rents and he curled an exquisite effort past Will Godman from the corner of the 18 yard box.
Having hardly threatened in the opening exchanges, Leatherhead had a lifeline seven minutes later. Rikki Banks came to collect a Guiseppe Sole cross but Tom Broadbrook nipped in before the Worthing stopper to head into an empty net.
Banks had to be quick off his line five minutes before the break after Tomi Adeloye’s ball pierced Worthing’s defence but Calum Davies could not add a finishing touch.
Broadbrook should have headed his side level four minutes after the interval. Great work from Jerry Nnamani saw him pick out the forward, though, he somehow headed over from four yards out with the goal gaping.
Dawes then produced a moment of magic on 52 minutes to open up a two-goal leadfor Worthing once again. Dawes beat three players before curling a strike into the top corner, leaving Godman with no chance.
Dawes thought he had netted a fourth three minutes later, only to see his effort chalked off following a discussion between the referee and his linesman.
Another error from Banks gave Leatherhead some hope once again on 62 minutes, his clearance fell straight to Sole, who composed himself and curled an effort home.
Another moment of magic from Dawes nearly lead to a fourth for Worthing six minutes later. A great turn from the frontman saw him get clear, before teeing up Omar Bugiel but he volleyed just wide from close range.
Once again Dawes was denied with 15 minutes to play, Bugiel played him in, only for his first effort to be saved by Godman, then his rebound came back out of the crossbar.
Banks hand to get down low to parry out substitute Richard Seixas’ crisp drive as Leatherhead pushed for a way back in.
Worthing were under constant pressure in the closing stages but held on for a valuable three points.
WORTHING: Banks; Hendon, Heath, Boiling, Rents; Newton, Wills, O’Neill, Sparks; Bugiel; Dawes. Subs: Axell, Stanislaus (Dawes, 86), Edwards (Bugiel, 87), Cook, Fagan.