ARUNDEL Football Club boss Simon Butler was delighted with his side’s second half fight-back on Tuesday evening.
A poor first half showing in their clash with Worthing United saw them two goals down at half-time.
However, a fine response in the second half saw them net three times in the first six minutes to take the lead.
They were denied all three points, though, as United’s Ben Hall netted with a minute left.
Butler felt his side showed great character to claw themselves back into the contest and said: “It was one of our worst halves of football in the first and we were lucky to be only two down.
“The defending was awful, the passing was awful and, collectively, it just was not good enough.
“I had a few words with them at the break but, in fairness, the response was great.
“If somebody had said to me at half-time you will get a draw I’d have taken it but, after conceding such a late goal, it feels a little like a defeat.”
United got off to a dream start as Jack Hayward flicked home Wayne Joseph’s corner on ten minutes.
It got better for the Mavericks a minute later when they were awarded a penalty. Sam Blundell latched on to a Lawrence Edwards pass and he was felled when attempting to round keeper James Fernandes.
Hayward stepped up and dispatched the penalty, despite Fernandes getting a hand to his strike.
United could have been out of sight on 16 minutes. Joseph’s fine work down the right saw him cross for James Wotherspoon, who cushioned a pass into the on-rushing Stevie May but he blazed over when well placed.
Arundel’s first chance came ten minutes later. Simon Clarke got clear down the byline before crossing to Scott Tipper, who headed just wide.
The Mullets were a different side in the second period and pulled a goal back a minute after the break.
Max Thoms’ pinpoint pass found Barney Boutwood and he produced an exquisite chip from 20 yards.
The home side were awarded a penalty of their own two minutes later when Nathan Da Costa was tripped.
Tipper stepped up and slammed the spot-kick home and it was all level once again.
A remarkable opening six minutes of the second half was capped off when Arundel added a third.
Liam Da Costa’s free kick was flicked into Thoms’ path by Tipper and the midfielder fired past Matt Evans.
Boutwood should have added a fourth on 61 minutes. Tipper once again flicked on a long ball but Boutwood saw his half-volley go just wide.
That miss proved costly as Hall picked up the ball and curled a strike past Stuart McDonald with a minute left.
Arundel could still have snatched all three points late on. Tipper saw his shot parried into Lewis Jenkins’ path but he somehow fired over from close range.
ARUNDEL: Fernandes; L.Da Costa, Bibb, O’Hagan, N.Da Costa; Clarke, Thoms, Jenkins, R.Biggs; Boutwood, Tipper. Subs: McDonald (Fernandes), A.Biggs (R.Biggs), Richards (Clarke), J.Biggs.
Arundel travel to Eastbourne Town in the league on Saturday, before they entertain Horsham YMCA on Tuesday.
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