For the fifth time this season the Rebels snatched a draw from the jaws of victory by conceding an equaliser in added on time by drawing 2 – 2 at Eastbourne Town.
This wasn’t a very good game marred by a strong swirling wind and steady and occasionally heavy rain and a draw was just about a fair result as the Rebels didn’t do enough to take the 3 points.
Eastbourne started the game using the wind to their advantage by clearing the ball long into the channels whilst the Rebels started poorly and couldn’t pass the ball in their normal efficient style.
The first chance of the game fell to Paul Kennett but his left foot shot was blocked before Worthing went ahead in the 19th minute in somewhat controversial circumstances. A Darren Budd free kick was handballed in the penalty area by Town’s Steve Elliot. The referee blew for a penalty and pointed to the spot but the ball carried on towards the goal and sneaked into the goal just inside the post. The referee changed his mind and awarded a goal. The Eastbourne players understandably didn’t agree with the decision but after consulting his assistant referee, the goal stood.
Paul Kennett committed a foul on the edge of the Worthing penalty area, but the resultant free kick from Matt Geard was blasted straight into the wall.
In the 31st minute, a Budd shot hit the arm of a Town defender but unfortunately no penalty was given and a minute later a great shot from Budd was only just over the cross bar.
Alan Mansfield’s first save came from a good left footed effort from former Rebel Luke Denton. Luke Gedling replaced Mike Huckett just before half-time.
HT 0 – 1
Soon after half-time Jamie Brotherton replaced Tom Manton, but Eastbourne equalised in the 54th minute when the Rebels backline didn’t clear the ball which was crossed and headed home via the post by Danny Curd.
Rebels were struggling to get going in the second half and Eastbourne got more into the game without creating too much although a good through ball saw Mansfield challenge with his feet and come off worst and required treatment from the Rebels physio.
Worthing took the lead for a second time in the 69th minute when a good Ryan McBride pass found Budd driving into the penalty box, and his square pass across the goal was met by Brotherton.
Steve Davies was replaced by Mark Pulling before Mansfield was forced into a great safe from a Sam Crabb shot.
McBride created a chance for himself by harrying Tom Graves into a mistake and running through on goal before putting a shot just past the post.
Unfortunately in the 91st minute, the Rebels defence were unable to deal with a fairly routine hump it pass down the middle of the park and Adam Davidson was able to equalise for Town.
This was a disappointing end to the game for the Rebels who will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night at home to Chipstead.
FT 2 - 2
Mansfield, Piper, Metcalf, Kennett, Hurley, Woodburn, Budd, Huckett, McBride, Manton, Davies.
Subs: Gedling (for Huckett), Brotherton (for Manton), Charles, Pulling (for Davies), Bradley
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