WORTHING Football Club were made to work hard for a 2-1 win at home to Hythe Town in Ryman League South Division this afternoon.
Rebels led 1-0 at half-time through Lloyd Dawes’ 35th-minute goal but the visitors were reduced to ten men just before the break as Josh Burchell was sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
Hythe levelled through a Jack Cook own goal on 66 minutes, before Omar Bugiel hit Rebels’ winner eight minutes later.
The win moved Worthing up a place to sixth but they remain eight points behind Whyteleafe, who occupy the final play-off place, with just four games remaining.
The visitors almost took the lead after just 90 seconds but Laurence Harvey’s header from Burchell’s free kick came back off a post.
Clear chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges but Worthing went close on 18 minutes when Dawes’ shot took a deflection and looped into the air but Brannon O’Neill headed just wide from inside the six-yard area.
Rebels’ Will Berry had a shot from Curtis Gayler’s corner deflected over from close range on 22 minutes, before Cook headed over Gayler’s resulting flag-kick.
The hosts went ahead on 35 minutes when Will Hendon’s long throw was headed on by Bugiel to Dawes who, with his back to goal, took a touch and then superbly flicked the ball home with the outside of his right boot from six yards.
Hythe were reduced to ten men two minutes before half-time when Burchell was dismissed for pushing Bugiel over in an off-the-ball incident.
The visitors had a great chance to level just two minutes into the second half when Ryan Philpott raced on to a long ball forward to get through one-on-one but he poked the ball across goal and Rebels keeper Jack Fagan comfortably gathered.
Worthing were denied a second by the offside flag on 52 minutes when Bugiel turned the ball home from Dawes’s shot.
Rebels then almost added a second just two minutes later when Hendon showed a lovely piece of skill to twist and turn his way past three players, before his low shot was saved by Hythe keeper Roddy Hayward.
Hythe should have levelled on 64 minutes when Craig Thompson kept the ball in play and then pulled it back for Bradley Jordan, who blazed over from 15 yards.
Hythe did equalise just two minutes later as Thompson chased down a long ball forward and Fagan’s clearance rebounded off team-mate Cook and flew straight into the goal.
The visitors continued to play well despite being a man down and captain James Morrish hooked a left-wing cross just wide on 71 minutes.
Rebels went back ahead on 74 minutes when Hythe failed to clear Brannon O’Neill’s corner and Bugiel fired the ball home from eight yards.
Dawes almost netted a third for Worthing on 79 minutes when he raced down the right but lifted the ball over the bar from a tight angle.
Rebels then saw out the remainder of the game to hold on for the win and extend their unbeaten run to four matches.