Worthing lifted the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup for the first time since 1999 after a goalless draw saw them beat Bognor 8-7 on penalties at the Amex Stadium on Thursday night.
The 17-year-old Worthing goalkeeper, William Tillman, had a debut to remember as his crucial save from Harvey Whyte’s penalty sealed the victory.
Earlier on in the shootout, Joshua McCormick had the chance to win it for Bognor, but his penalty sailed over the bar to keep Worthing in the match.
It was a night of missed opportunities for the Rocks with the bulk of the game’s chances falling to them, however they were never able to find that finishing touch.
A fervent atmosphere was created by the 2,594 fans in attendance as the two sets jousted off the pitch just as enthusiastically as the teams did on it.
Bognor edged a competitive first-half where they picked their moments to press from midfield and created chances in transition.
Dan Gifford was a constant thorn in Worthing’s side, causing trouble for their defenders down both wings. The Portsmouth loanees first foray down the right-hand side set up a chance for Nathan Odokonyero, whose shot was comfortably saved.
Minutes later Gifford dribbled inside from the left before being taken down just outside the box with Calvin Davies resultant free-kick going narrowly wide.
Worthing struggled with Bognor’s physicality in midfield. They had spells of possession but anytime they tried to progress the ball into the final third a Bognor defender was there to snuff it out.
Their only chance of the half came after tricky work down the right from Reece Myles-Meekums won them a free-kick which Joe Rye headed into the side netting at the back post.
At the other end, the shots kept coming. Alfie Bridgman had time and space on the edge of the box, but he could not find the target and Odokonyero’s driving shot was smartly saved by Tillman at the end of the half.
The second-half was a more even contest with both teams having chances to make the breakthrough, but Bognor still looked the more threatening.
In the 57th minute, a through ball released Gifford down the right-hand side, he then cut inside onto his left foot and unleashed a shot which clattered off the crossbar.
Worthing looked to punish Bognor for their wastefulness. An Ollie Pearce free-kick was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Bognors Matt Rowley and shortly after Pearce got to the byline and found Joel Colbran in space, but his shot sailed over.