Hinshelwood praises Worthing's fighting spirit following stunning comeback win

Substitute Ben Pope hit a late winner for Worthing on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Substitute Ben Pope hit a late winner for Worthing on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Adam Hinshelwood hailed Worthing Football Club's fighting spirit as a stunning late comeback took them to a Bostik League Premier Division win at Tonbridge Angels on Saturday.

Zack Newton and substitute Ben Pope struck in injury-time to fire Worthing to a 2-1 success at Tonbridge.

Joe Turner's effort on the hour made Worthing pay for a number of earlier misses and they looked to be heading for a second defeat in five matches.

However, frontman Newton levelled things up on 90 minutes, then substitute Pope struck to win it for Worthing.

Hinshelwood was pleased to see forward Pope back on the scoresheet in the victory and said: "Full credit to my team for showing the fight and spirit to win the game. It was a good performance, we just weren't ruthless enough in front of goal early on.

"I'm so pleased for Ben to get that winning goal. He's coming back from such a bad injury last season and I was forced to use him more than I would have liked when I first came back. I'm fortunate to have a lot more options in attacking areas now, with everyone fighting for places.

"Ben is such a talent and will continue to score a number of goals at this level."

Worthing were without suspended Joel Colbran, while skipper Darren Budd and Alex Parsons missed out through injury.

Matt Boiling - dual-signed with Loxwood - came in for Colbran, while Joe Clarke and Jazz Rance returned to the starting line-up.

Taylor's smart turn and shot on the hour beat Lucas Covolan to give Tonbridge the lead.

Newton was on hand to slam home Rance's cross to level a minute from time.

There was still time for Worthing to win it as substitute Pope was quickest to react after Jonathan Henly could only parry a fierce Newton drive.

Hinshelwood believes healthy competition within his squad is helping them climb the table.

He said: "I think Matt deserves great credit for the way he came back into the team and performed. There's a lot of competition in the squad, with everyone accepting the challenge at the moment.

"We're up to 15th now but I believe we could be ten points better off than we are, if we'd been more clinical in matches this season.

"We want to continue our good run of form and end the season well."

WORTHING: Colbran; Boiling, Young, Rents; Meekums, Clarke, Barker, Rance; Pamment, Starkey; Newton. Subs: Pope (Clarke, 69), Skerry (Boiling, 83), Luff (Pamment, 93), Sisimayi, Sparks.