WORTHING Football Club bounced back from their 6-1 defeat to Walton & Hersham on Saturday with a 2-1 victory at County League East Preston in the Brighton Charity Cup second round on Tuesday evening.
Rebels progressed with goals from Shaun Charles, his first for the club, and Tom Manton but EP made them work hard for the victory.
East Preston pressed all over the pitch, which forced a few errors from Worthing, and they took the lead on 25 minutes. After some excellent play on the right from Aaron Farrier, John Lawson set up Adam Wilds, just inside the area, and he stroked the ball home.
Worthing still maintained the majority of possession, but had few clear-cut chances until they equalised just before half-time. Charles volleyed home after John Lansdale’s corner had been headed against the bar by Terry Dodd.
Most would have expected Worthing to go on and win comfortably in the second half but EP were never out of the game, and continued to maintain their high intensity, pressurising every Worthing pass.
Despite EP’s constant hard work, Worthing managed to get a winner on 73 minutes. A good through ball by Mike Huckett led to a one-on-one situation. Ben Rose bravely saved at the feet of George Gaskin, but the ball fell in Worthing’s favour and Manton was able to roll it home into the empty net.
Charles then had a header from a corner ruled out, and Rebels manager Chris White said: “This was a stepping stone back to confidence for us, and it was important to get the win.
“I was pleased that we looked more solid at the back, and we kept the ball well throughout. Credit to EP, they worked very hard and made it difficult, but in the end we just did enough.”
Rebels travel to Chatham in the league on Saturday and are at Fleet on Tuesday. Defender Billy Franks, who was at Bognor last season, has dual-signed with Rebels from Eastbourne Borough and will go straight into the squad.
WORTHING: Di Bernardo; Peake, T.Timms, Smith, Metcalf; Lansdale, Huckett, Gedling, Manton; Charles, Dodd. Subs: Gaskin (Dodd 70), Saunders (Lansdale 70), Pulling (Manton 85) Farmer.