Worthing lose bad-tempered match with Haringey Borough

David Ajiboye returned from injury
David Ajiboye returned from injury

A rain-pummeled Woodside Road saw Worthing lose 2-0 to Haringey Borough on Saturday.

Goals from Joel Nouble and Rakim Richards saw the Reds lose their second match in a row.

Injury relief came Worthing’s way as David Ajiboye and Ollie Pearce returned, coming into the starting XI alongside four others who didn’t play in Tuesday’s loss to Eastbourne Town.

The biblical conditions set the stage for a nervy affair between two top teams. Early on Barker slipped and gave away the ball to Charley Barker, but Kleton Perntreou stuck a leg out to prevent an early Haringey lead.

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Both sides’ goalkeepers seemed uncomfortable on the slippery pitch, Perntreou first rushing out of goal and fouling a Haringey player before Valery Pajetet almost spilled a shot from Jesse Starkey to Pearce.

Haringey bundled the ball over the line, seemingly taking a 20th-minute lead, but the linesman flagged it offside.

The visitors almost had the lead again five minutes later courtesy of a Perntreou fumble, but the ‘keeper recovered quick enough to block Ralston Gabriel’s shot.

Worthing finally conceded in the 31st minute, Nouble stroking a shot into the bottom corner from just inside the box.

An argument between Joel Colbran and Gabriel lead to a scuffle involving 21 players, but no cards were dealt out by the referee.

The match exploded again after the visitors’ Barker was brought down, leading to another shouting match between players - this time Aguiar was booked.

Haringey could’ve doubled their lead just before half-time were it not for some fantastic defending - first Perntreou dived quickly to deny one shot before Colbran headed away a Gabriel overhead kick on the line.

Worthing came out swinging in the second half, Pearce almost lobbing Pajetet from outside the box.

The front line had evidently gelled, with Meekums passing for Pearce to cross in before Aguiar had a convincing shot saved.

But the monsoon rains slowed the pace of the match down and the Reds lost the initiative.

A glimpse of the Reds’ attacking prowess came later, with Darren Budd crossing for Meekums in front of goal, but the loanee shot straight at Pajetet.

Haringey doubled their lead with 15 minutes to go, Richards pushing it over the line after a goal line scramble, sinking Worthing.

The Reds now play Whitehawk away on Tuesday in a Bostik league tie.

Worthing: Perntreou, Parsons, Crane, Budd (c), Colbran, Barker, Ajiboye (Skerry), Aguiar (Clarke), Pearce (Rance), Meekums, Starkey. Subs: Rents, Clarke (Aguiar), Rance (Pearce), Relf, Skerry (Ajiboye). Att: 502