Worthing suffer first away defeat since August 2019 in seven-goal thriller
Worthing Football Club suffered their first away league defeat since August 2019, losing 4-3 to Leatherhead at Fetcham Grove this evening.
A brace from Ollie Pearce and a first league goal for summer signing Mo Diallo proved not to be enough despite putting Worthing 3-2 up with 16 minutes remaining, with the Tanners responding with two goals to inflict the Mackerels with their first league loss of the campaign.
Adam Hinshelwood’s side got off to the worst possible start, finding themselves a goal behind in the fourth minute when Tanners striker Dan Rowe found himself unmarked in the six-hard box to put the hosts 1-0 up.
Worthing responded well, however, and in the 15th minute, Ricky Aguiar was barged over while shooting from range by Leatherhead’s Charlie Hester-Cook resulting in a yellow card for the latter and free-kick around 25 yards out for the visitors.
Ollie Pearce stepped up and unleashed a wonderful strike which curled over the wall, smashing the underside of the bar and back up into the roof of the net to equalise for Worthing.
Leatherhead nearly gained their lead back instantly when Hester-Cook shot past Roco Rees looking certain to score, but Jasper Pattenden arrived in the nick of time to clear to safety.
Chances for the remainder of the half were hard to come by for either side, until Dajon Golding drove into the area to see his eventual shot cleared only as far as Reece Meekums, who fired at goal but his effort was well-blocked by Jack Currie on the stroke of half time.
Worthing began the second half on the front foot and had a huge opportunity to go ahead when a counter-attacking run from Marvin Armstrong saw him offload the ball to Shaq Gwengue, who fiercely drove his effort straight into the palms of Zaki Oualah.
Just after the hour mark, Leatherhead striker Joe Leslie latched onto a through ball and blasted the ball beyond Rees to but the Tanners back in front.
Worthing continued to cause the hosts problems, and in the 69th minute, a cross from Meekums found the unmarked head of substitute Mo Diallo to put the visitors back on level terms.
Six minutes later, a through ball from Armstrong created a foot-race between Meekums and Jack Currie - resulting in Currie upending Meekums inside the penalty area, giving referee Lawrence Torz-Brown no choice but to point to the spot.
Pearce stepped up and placed it hard to the right, beyond Oualah’s reach to put Worthing 3-2 up.
Leatherhead continued to probe, and in the 79th minute, Stefan Brown turned in a cross to equalise.
Then, with five minutes of normal time remaining, a free kick from Leslie evaded a sea of bodies in the area and smacked the right hand post.
The ball fell to Tanners right-back Crossley Lema in the six-yard box, who nodded home to snatch all three points for the home side.