Lights out, all out in Rebels’ home match

WORTHING Football Club’s home game with Dorking Wanderers was abandoned on Tuesday evening through floodlight failure.

Brannon O'Neill

The floodlight in the south west corner of the pitch went out after 30 minutes and again shortly afterwards when play had resumed after a 20-minute delay.

An entertaining Ryman League South Division game was 1-1 at the time and all supporters at the game will receive free entry to the rearranged game. For all other fans, the game will be a pay-what-you-like fixture.

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Worthing had the first attempt on goal when Lloyd Dawes held off his marker before playing in a marauding Harvey Sparks, whose powerful shot sailed just wide.

The visitors, unbeaten and second in the league, took the lead in the ninth minute when former Farnborough striker Phil Page was played in down the left hand side of the box and slipped the ball past a static Rikki Banks into the far corner.

Four minutes later, Page turned provider as he slid Kev Terry in down the right but the shot only rattled the bar rather than rustled the net.

Page was a large thorn in Rebels’ side with his intelligent movement as he once again got the wrong side of the defence only to shoot tamely into the side-netting on 14 minutes.

The 20th minute saw the hosts equalise as Omar Bugiel drew a foul from Chris Boulter on the edge of the Wanderers area. Brannon O’Neill took the free kick left-footed, managing to get the ball up and over the wall and into the bottom corner with precision to level the scores.

On the half-hour, the south west corner of the pitch was plunged into murkiness as a floodlight went out.

The officials opted to wait for repairs to be made and 20 minutes later play resumed with Bugiel stinging Slavomir Huk’s palms from 30 yards. The same player sent the ball tantalisingly across the Dorking six yard box but there was no-one there to tap home a minute later.

Following a 37th minute strike from right-back Will Hendon, the visitors countered culminating in a Page cross that found Elliott Thompson just two yards out but the midfielder managed to lift the ball over the bar.

That was the final action before the same floodlight opted to have an early night and the referee, after some discussion with both benches, decided to abandon proceedings for the evening.

Rebels joint boss Gary Elphick said: “It was pretty even up to that point and the lads showed a lot of character to come back into the game.

“Earlier in the season we would have let our heads drop when they took the lead but Brannon stepped up and did superbly as did the rest of the team.

“Their nine looked lively but we’ve had a good look at him now and can adapt next time around.”

Rebels travel to Carshalton in the league on Saturday, before they travel to Hastings on Tuesday.

WORTHING: Banks, Hendon, Metcalf, Heath, Axell; Morey, O’Neill, Axell, Dawes; Bugiel, Pope. Subs: Barnes, Newton, Quirke, Elphick, Fagan.

n Worthing progressed in the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at home to Thamesmead Town on Saturday. Rebels will travel to Tilbury or St Neots in the next round. Their replay was postponed on Tuesday.

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