Worthing make it three wins from three - versus three-keeper Lewes

Worthing made it three wins from their opening three Isthmian Premier matches with a 3-1 victory over Lewes at The Dripping Pan.
Action from the Lewes-Worthing clash / Picture: Angela BrinkhurstAction from the Lewes-Worthing clash / Picture: Angela Brinkhurst
Action from the Lewes-Worthing clash / Picture: Angela Brinkhurst

A brace from Dajon Golding against his former club and an own goal from Lewes’ Leon Redwood created by a brilliant passage of play from Reece Meekums proved too hot for a 10-man Rooks side to handle to fire the Reds third in the table.

The first chance of the match fell to the hosts in the third minute, when Jude Arthurs picked up a loose ball before shooting from long range, but his effort went well wide of the retuning Roco Rees’ goal.

Three minutes later, Worthing came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when a Leon Moore cross narrowly evaded Golding in the six-yard box.

The Mackerels then had another opportunity when some lovely play on the edge of the area between Meekums and Jasper Pattenden saw the latter produce a lovely curled effort, which went past Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke but also the right hand post.

Only a minute of play had passed when Meekums sprang a Lewes offside trap to bear down on goal before unselfishly laying the ball to Golding, who then shot at goal only to see it headed off the line.

In the 13th minute, the biggest talking point of the match arose when Golding put pressure on Stroomberg-Clarke and blocked his clearance, which struck his arm outside his area.

After considering his options, referee John Pike decided it was a dismissible offence and sent him for an early bath.

Worthing began to dominate amid the red card, and some incredibly brave goalkeeping from Lewes substitute Gary Nöel denied Golding another opportunity in the six-yard box.

The visitors continued to probe, with Meekums swinging a cross into the area and finding the feet of Ollie Pearce, but he failed to adjust his footing and his touch fell into the arms of Nöel.

On the half-hour mark, Worthing finally found the breakthrough when Pearce nicked the ball away from Lewes’ to set up a counter attack.

Meekums picked up the loose ball and drove into the Rooks’ half, finding Golding who took one touch before rifling the ball past a helpless Nöel to score against his ex-side.

The hosts however, refused to the let their heads drop, and some extreme fortune similar to Stroomberg-Clarke’s dismissal saw them equalise in the 35th minute, when a Roco Rees clearance cannoned straight off Arthurs to level the scoring at the interval.

Lewes replaced Nöel with Nick D'Arienzo at the break, and Ricky Aguiar almost embarrassed him within the opening seconds of the half, shooting from the centre circle and lobbing the Rooks’ third keeper of the game, but his audacious effort went narrowly wide.

Six minutes later, Worthing restored their lead when Meekums picked the ball up on the left flank and slalomed past four Lewes players before cutting the ball back.

No player in a white shirt was on hand to tap it home, but Lewes’ Redwood tangled his legs when attempting to clear and scrambled the ball into his own net to put Worthing 2-1 up.

In the 66th minute, the Mackerels came close to doubling their lead when Meekums launched a deep cross in towards Pattenden, who hooked the ball back across the six-yard box to substitute Tom Chalaye, but his effort was fantastically saved by D'Arienzo.

Two minutes later, the Lewes keeper awkwardly dealt with a dipping long-range effort from Joel Colbran.

His parry fell to Pearce who fired the ball into the area, and Dajon Golding was on hand to score his second and the Mackerels third of the evening.

Worthing were seemingly in control of the match, but a casual back pass from Danny Barker presented Lewes striker Aaron Crosgrave with a chance to half their deficit, but a fine double-stop from Rees kept his side’s two-goal lead intact with 12 minutes remaining.

In the 87th minute, Aguiar then came within inches of putting the match completely out of Lewes’ reach with a low strike from distance which eluded a sea of bodies only to smack off the upright.

His misfortune didn’t prove costly when two minutes later, Pike blew for full time to ensure the Mackerels continued their 100% start to their Isthmian Premier League campaign.

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