Worthing draw with Lowestoft Town to climb off bottom
Worthing Football Club climbed off the bottom of the Bostik League Premier Division for the first time since August this afternoon.
Worthing were held to a 0-0 draw by Lowestoft Town at Woodside Road - which proved enough to take them above Burgess Hill Town and off the bottom - after Hillians were beaten at Folkestone Invicta.
Substitute Ben Pope wasted a good chance late on, while Kieron Pamment had a couple of good opportunities in the first half as Worthing would have hoped to have ended 2017 with more than the point they managed.
However, the draw was enough to take them off the basement and in to the new year sitting 23rd.
Worthing handed a debut to forward Joe Clarke - who replaced injured Reece Meekums - for the only change made to the team that beat Burgess Hill Town on Boxing Day.
Goalkeeper Lucas Covolan so nearly gifted Lowestoft a third minute lead. The Brazilian tried a chipped pass, which was blocked by Nico Cotton, but the ball clipped the crossbar on the way over.
Lowestoft were having the better of the opening stages and a fine Covolan save denied them. Ryan Jarvis' volley from a corner was kept out at full stretch by Covolan.
Worthing saw more of the ball as the half wore on, missing two glorious opportunities in quick succession after 26 minutes. Kieron Pamment was denied by a point-blank save by Ben Dudzinski, then Alfie Young's follow-up volley came back out off a post.
Pamment wasted another good opening a minute before the break. Darren Budd's clever pass with the outside of his right boot sent Pamment racing away - who shot straight at Dudzinski.
Just minutes after being introduced, Jimmy Wild should have fired Worthing ahead on the hour. Harvey Sparks' first-time pass picked out an unmarked Wild but he blazed over from all of eight yards.
The majority of the second half was a cagey affair, with neither side really creating any clear-cut chances.
Adam Hinshelwood threw forwards Wild, Ben Pope - returning after a four-game ban - and Dave Herbert on as Worthing looked for a winner late on.
Two of those substitutes - Pope and Wild - nearly combined for an opener ten minutes from time. Pope's ball flashed across the face of goal, just evading Wild.
Lowestoft still carried a threat and Matthew Foy had the ball in the net - only for the linesman to flag for offside on 82 minutes.
Worthing ended the stronger and should have taken all three points. Substitute Pope fired into the side-netting after being sent clear on 92 minutes, then Sparks flashed a strike just wide less than a minute later.
WORTHING: Covolan; Colbran, Young, Rents; Parsons, Hallard, Budd, Sparks; Clarke, Starkey; Pamment. Subs: Schneider, Watson, Herbert (Pamment, 82), Pope (Starkey, 72), Wild (Hallard, 58).