Worthing beat nine-man Tonbridge Angels

Worthing Football Club won for the seventh successive match with a 3-0 victory over nine-man Tonbridge Angels at Woodside Road this afternoon.

Saturday, 31st December 2016, 4:57 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:00 pm
Omar Bugiel scored Worthing's opening goal against Tonbridge Angels. Picture by Stephen Goodger.

In an eventful match, Worthing won with two Omar Bugiel penalties and a late Zack Newton goal as they increased their unbeaten run to ten games in all competitions.

Bugiel scored his first penalty on 28 minutes after Tonbridge's Ugo Udoji was sent off for a foul. The visitors were reduced to nine men when Nick Wheeler was dismissed for violent conduct on 36 minutes and in the aftermath a member of Tonbridge's management team and Worthing substitute Brannon O'Neill were also sent off.

Bugiel scored his second penalty of the game 19 minutes from time, before Worthing added a third nine minutes from time. Worthing were awarded another spot-kick and after Bugiel's penalty was saved, Newton reacted quickest to score the rebound.

Both sides had opportunities in the early exchanges. Worthing should have taken the lead on six minutes when Harvey Sparks, on his 21st birthday, and Sam Rents combined down the left before the latter's cross found Arron Hopkinson but his close-range effort was superbly saved by Anthony Di Bernardo.

Sparks then drove a cross-shot wide of the far post a minute later, before the visitors' Alex Akrofi was superbly denied by a last-ditch Will Hendon block on eight minutes.

Worthing's Newton then fired wide of the far post on ten minutes, before Tonbridge captain Tom Parkinson headed into the side netting from a deep corner six minutes later.

The game turned on referee Danny Austin awarding Worthing a soft-looking penalty in the 28th minute. Bugiel raced clear from his own half and went down under a Udoji challenge. The Worthing striker's final touch appeared heavy with Di Bernardo rushing out to claim the ball but referee Austin had no doubt Bugiel was denied a clear goalscoring opportunity; pointing to the spot and showing Udoji a red card.

Bugiel added salt to the Tonbridge wounds as he made no mistake from 12 yards, sending former Worthing keeper Di Bernardo the wrong way from the spot.

The visitors responded well and almost levelled immediately but Worthing keeper Jack Fagan dived low to his right to push away Mitchell Nelson's close-range effort after a goalmouth scramble from a corner.

Tonbridge's task was made even harder on 36 minutes as winger Wheeler was sent off for violent conduct after clashing with Arron Hopkinson in front of the away dug-out.

In the aftermath of the red card, a member of Tonbridge's management team and Worthing substitute Brannon O'Neill were also sent off and had to leave the dugouts.

Tonbridge were almost gifted an equaliser deep in injury-time at the end of the first half when Matt Boiling's back-header went over Fagan and was acrobatically cleared off the line by Hendon.

Worthing enjoyed all of the possession at the start of the second half and Hendon side-footed over from 12 yards on 49 minutes, before Newton shot wide from Kane Wills' cross six minutes later.

Despite a two-man disadvantage, Tonbridge almost levelled on the hour mark. Parkinson's header from a free kick was pushed over by Fagan, before Sparks cleared George Beavan's shot off the line from the resulting corner.

Worthing made sure of all three points on 71 minutes when they were awarded a second penalty, although there were few complaints about this one. Hendon was tripped by Luke Blewden and Bugiel again sent Di Bernardo the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-0 for his 19th goal of the season.

The hosts then scored a third nine minutes from time. After a foul on Newton, Worthing were awarded a third penalty of the match; Bugiel went the same way again but his spot-kick was saved by Di Bernardo, however Newton was first to the rebound to score.

WORTHING: Fagan; Hendon, Heath, Boiling, Rents; Hopkinson, Wills, Edwards, Sparks (Brodie 69); Bugiel (Watson 87), Newton. Subs: O'Neill, Belward, Cook. Att: 752.

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