WORTHING United Football Club ran out 4-2 winners at East Preston in County League Division 2 on Saturday to move into the top three.
EP started the game at a fast pace, pressing United high up the pitch and forcing them into errors but they failed to find the final ball to create any clear chances and United opened the scoring on 30 minutes.
Joe Shelley headed home Mitchell Hand’s corner and United made it 2-0 on 40 minutes in controversial circumstances.
After a corner was half cleared, the ball was sent back into the box and Shelley was there to get his second. The linesman appeared to flag for handball, only for referee Paul John to over-rule his assistant and allow the goal to stand, infuriating EP players.
In the second half, United began to show why they are a team pushing for promotion and really took control of the game. After already creating some good chances, they got their third and finest goal on 53 minutes. Some great build-up play led to a well-timed Billy Rayner cross that debutant Barney Boutwood, who has joined from Littlehampton, was able to finish neatly on the half-volley.
They quickly added a fourth when another good delivery from Hand was not defended well enough and Joe Stokes timed his run well to score a nicely-placed header.
EP did manage to produce a late surge, scoring twice through Rob Barnard and substitute Dale Campbell in the last 10 minutes but it was too little, too late.
United boss Dominic Di Paola said: “I felt we were in control for the majority of the game, and I was happy with the performance.
“It was a little disappointing that we took our foot off the gas near the end but it is a good result.”
UNITED: Phillips; Stokes, Curnow, S.Di Paola, Hand; Rayner, Meehan, Shelley, Brown; Nicholson, Boutwood. Subs: Castro, Young (Meehan, Curnow 50), Barnard, Garrod, Francis.