Ollie Pearce stars as rampant Worthing put NINE past Harlow Town

Ollie Pearce hit a hat-trick in Worthing's win over Harlow Town. Picture: Stephen Goodger
Ollie Pearce hit a hat-trick in Worthing's win over Harlow Town. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Worthing registered a first win at Woodside Road since the turn of the year in fine style this afternoon.

Ollie Pearce netted four times, while Jesse Starkey, Joe Clarke, Kwame Poku and substitutes Jasper Pattenden and Callum Kealy were also on the scoresheet, firing Adam Hinshelwood's men to an thumping 9-1 Bostik League Premier Division triumph over struggling Harlow Town.

Reece Price-Placid had pulled the visitors level in the first half after former Bognor man Pearce's opener on eight minutes.

But Starkey's stunner restored Worthing's lead on the half-hour and they never looked back from that point, running out resounding victors.

Remarkably the hosts had gone five games without a win on home turf prior to this victory - a run which stretched back to December - but got back on the winning trail at Woodside Road in fine style.

The thumping triumph was the biggest this season and moved Hinshelwood's men up two places to seventh, just two points off the play-off places.

Joe Clarke came in for Academy talent Josh Gould in the only change from the side that drew with Potters Bar Town last time out. Jasper Pattenden returned on the bench having recovered from a nasty head injury picked up in the defeat at Leatherhead last month.

Worthing were quick out of the traps and found themselves in front after eight minutes. Ricky Aguiar, playing in a deep midfield role, found Pearce with a raking pass. The striker took the ball in his stride superbly then fired past Josh Bexon from just inside the area.

Harlow were the brighter side after going behind, getting level 12 minutes later. Poor defending saw Worthing fail to clear a corner, with Price-Placid picking up the ball, dodging a tackle before finding the bottom corner.

The Spitfires seemed to take confidence from the leveller and came agonisingly close to going in front on 24 minutes. Matthew Foy's turn of pace helped him breeze clear down the left, only for his attempt from a tight angle to flash across the face of goal.

Worthing were still playing some good stuff in spells, restoring their lead in fine style on the half-hour. Midfielder Starkey's casually clipped effort went in off the underside of the crossbar from all of 30 yards to make it 2-1.

Another well-taken goal saw Adam Hinshelwood's troops further extend the advantage two minutes before the break. It was Pearce who grabbed a second, curling a fine free-kick past Bexon from 25 yards.

Pearce had his Worthing hat-trick to put Worthing in form command nine minutes after the restart. Joe Clarke's header was kept out brillaintly by Bexon after he had met Aguiar's corner. But the former Bognor forward was on hand to head home the rebound, completing his treble.

The hosts were not finished there, though. Aguiar's corner fell to an unmarked Ross Edwards, who teed up Clarke to prod home from close range two minutes later.

It got better for Hinshelwood's troops as a third goal followed in the space of just 13 minutes. The impressive Poku bagged his first for the club on his second appearance, keeping composed to slot past the onrushing Bexon.

The day belonged to Pearce and he cut in from the left before firing home his fourth eight minutes from time.

Pearce was replaced to a standing ovation by the returning Pattenden a minute later. And he latched on to a Callum Kealy cross to grab his first goal for the club.

Pattenden returned the favour, sending Kealy racing away, and the Australian rounded Bexon before slotting into an empty net to round off what was a remarkable win.

WORTHING: Perntreou; Edwards, Jones, Crane; Parsons, Aguiar, Clarke, Newton; Poku, Starkey; Pearce. Subs: Pattenden (Pearce, 83), Budd (Aguiar, 65), Gould, B.Barker, Kealy (Newton, 65).