There was penalty drama as Worthing overcame Hastings United to secure a place in the final of this season’s Sussex Senior Challenge Cup in front of 448 fans at Culver Road last night.
Worthing started off strong with plenty of intensity in their pressing in the early stages of the game while Hastings looked to soak up the pressure and try to hit them on the break.
The mackerel men tried playing passes over the top initially for Modou Lamin Jammeh to chase but the Hastings back-line was able to repel these attempts.
Adam Hinshelwood’s side had two of the biggest chances of the first-half. The first came when Ollie Starkey was played through down the middle and was able to round Louis Rogers in the Hastings goal.
His shot, however, was clawed off the line by Jake Elliot, who was arguably Hastings’ most important outfield player during the 90 minutes. Moments later, Finlay Chadwick rode a couple of challenges as he burst into the box, but Rogers was rapid off his line to smother the shot and concede a corner.
Both teams had to make one substitution each in the first period owing to injury concerns, with James Hull coming on to replace Dave Smith for Hastings and Javaun Splatt coming on for Cameron Tutt.
While Worthing dominated possession and created more chances during the first 45 minutes, Hastings would draw first blood when Sam Adams was brought down in the Worthing box for a penalty on the cusp of half-time.
Adams subsequently stepped up and sent Harrison Male the wrong way from the spot to break the deadlock.
Worthing responded almost instantly with a spot kick of their own, when full-back James Beresford was fouled in the Hastings penalty area. Substitute Splatt found the back of the net with ease to put both sides level at the break.