WORTHING Football Club had to settle for a point as Carshalton Athletic scored two second half penalties to draw at Woodside Road on Saturday.
Omar Bugiel headed the hosts into the lead three minutes before half-time and Will Hendon made it 2-0 early in the second half.
However, Worthing were pegged back six minutes later when player-manager Gary Elphick was ruled to have fouled Moses Ashikodi and Tommy Bradford converted from the spot.
Bradford netted his second penalty in the 74th minute after Corey Heath had hauled down Ashikodi, and the visitors went away with a point.
Worthing, not in action since beating Peacehaven & Telscombe almost a fortnight earlier, made one change with Elphick returning to the starting line-up in defence.
The visitors had the first meaningful attempt of the game when Rikki Banks made a smart stop to deny Bradford in the 12th minute.
Midway through the first half, Rebels’ Zack Newton lofted over after Luke Colquhoun pushed Lloyd Dawes’ shot into his path.
The Carshalton goalkeeper then palmed Steve Metcalf’s swinging shot to Newton, who had the ball in the net from six yards but it was ruled out for offside.
It seemed inevitable that Worthing would break the deadlock and when Harvey Sparks was fouled just outside the penalty area, it gave Jordan Clark the opportunity from 20 yards.
Although Colquhoun did well to tip away Clark’s free kick, he was powerless to prevent Bugiel from nodding in the rebound to give Rebels the lead.
Just before the hour mark Worthing doubled their advantage when Dawes beat his man in the penalty area before cutting back for Hendon to squeeze in the second.
Five minutes later Elphick, despite vehement protests, was perhaps harshly judged to have fouled Ashikodi in the penalty area and Bradford sent Banks the wrong way from 12 yards.
With Ashikodi making a nuisance of himself, referee Ray Wells pointed to the spot again less than ten minutes later and Bradford converted for the second time.
After that, the result could have gone either way as Carshalton’s Mickel Miller’s deflected free kick flashed past the post and Banks did well to hold Bradford’s close range header.
Worthing could have snatched a winner when Clark picked out Newton, but he could only shoot at the on-rushing Colquhoun when clear through on goal as it ended 2-2.
Rebels joint boss Elphick said: “The game was going smoothly and comfortable but just turned in a matter of seconds. It was frustrating but in the long run it will be beneficial as we’ll learn from it.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow not to win, though.”
WORTHING: Banks; Hendon, Elphick, Heath, Metcalf; Newton, Axell, Clark, Sparks; Dawes, Bugiel. Subs: Waller, Richefond (Sparks, Bugiel 61), Quirke (Dawes 88), Fagan, Piper.
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