WORTHING Football Club let victory slip from their grasp when they lost 4-2 at home to Dorking Wanderers in an incident-packed match on Tuesday evening.
Rebels were in complete control midway through the second half, with the score 2-2 and Dorking playing against a strong wind and down to ten men.
It appeared that a Worthing victory would be the only outcome, such was their dominance. However, the game turned on Worthing midfielder Omar Bugiel receiving two bookings in the space of 20 seconds and being sent off with 15 minutes to play.
Dorking then got right back into the game and took all three points with two goals in the final nine minutes.
Rebels joint manager Jon Meeney said: “We’ve given the game away today, which is disappointing.
“For me, if we keep 11 men on the pitch, keep our discipline positionally, keep being forward thinking and keep working the ball, we’d have got more and more opportunities.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t kept 11 men on the pitch and that has got to improve for us. Teams will look to disrupt our rhythm and physically intimidate us and bully us but we can’t react.”
On Bugiel’s sending-off, Meeney said: “There was a little situation in front of their dugout and everyone jumped up like a Mexican wave and the referee has gone and acted. We can’t put ourselves in that situation but I’m not going to blame anyone. “We’re a scalp because of how everything has been going. Everyone wants to beat Worthing Football Club, people want to stop us from playing football and disrupt our rhythm. We’ve got to be smart and the boys will learn a lot from tonight.”
Rebels’ Gary Elphick hit a post and the hosts missed other chances, before Dorking went ahead on 27 minutes. Steve Metcalf was adjudged to have fouled Kev Terry when he looked to clear the ball and Phil Page drove home the resulting penalty.
The visitors’ Chris Boulter had a header ruled out for a foul, before Rebels levelled when Harry Shipton could only turn the ball into his own net, after Bugiel had been denied by Gary Ross after a superb run.
Matt Briggs put Dorking back ahead when he latched on to Jordan Clark’s under-hit back pass on 48 minutes, before Shipton was sent off for fouling Pope in the penalty area but Brannon O’Neill’s spot-kick was saved by Gary Ross.
O’Neill made amends when he levelled with a 20-yard strike on 65 minutes and Worthing then created a host of opportunities to take the lead.
Bugiel’s dismissal on 75 minutes for two quick bookings changed the game and Dorking went ahead for a third time through Shaun Findley six minutes later, after Metcalf failed to clear a right-wing cross.
Worthing pressed for a leveller and Ross brilliantly kept out Elphick in the first minute of injury-time, before Tom Tolfrey sealed Dorking’s win deep in added time.
Rebels slipped a place to third in the Ryman League South Division, while Dorking, who had beaten leaders Folkestone on Saturday, climbed to fifth.
Worthing entertain Whyteleafe on Saturday, before Chipstead are the visitors to Woodside Road on Tuesday.
WORTHING: Banks; Hendon, Metcalf, Elphick, Clark, Sparks; O’Neill, Richefond, Bugiel; Pope, Dawes. Subs: Axell, Fagan, Overton, Waller, Edwards.
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