Ten-man Horsham crashed to their ninth Ryman League South Division defeat of the season away at Worthing last night.
The Hornets went down 4-1 at a rain-soaked Woodside Road, with the game hinging on a 24th-minute red card to Horsham full-back Jamie Hills, while two late goals added a gloss to the scoreline.
The visitors took the lead through a Tony Nwachukwu penalty after just four minutes but Rebels levelled through Curtis Gayler on 11 minutes.
Horsham then had Hills sent off for a trip, before Rebels went ahead through Omar Bugiel on 56 minutes and Harvey Sparks and Bugiel, with his second, sealed the victory for the hosts late on.
The Hornets, who had won 4-3 in the Ryman League Cup at Worthing exactly a week ago, took the lead after just four minutes when Nwachukwu was tripped in the penalty area by Will Berry and Nwachukwu, who hit a hat-trick in Hornets’ 4-3 League Cup win at Rebels last week, sent Jack Fagan the wrong way from the spot.
Horsham striker Jamie Cade turned a Nwachukwu cross wide on eight minutes, before Brannon O’Neill went close to a equaliser a minute later but his looping header was kept out by Horsham keeper Gareth Williams.
Rebels did draw level just three minutes later when O’Neill’s inswinging free kick was spilled by Williams and Berry did well to win a tackle and lay the ball back to Gayler, who fired home a crisp low shot from 25 yards.
Horsham were reduced to ten men on 24 minutes when Hills was shown a straight red card for tripping Bugiel when Rebels’ striker was clean through on goal.
O’Neill’s resulting free kick was brilliantly tipped over by Williams, before Bugiel had a shot from eight yards deflected just wide and Alex Laing had a header comfortably saved as the half drew to a close.
Rebels took the lead 11 minutes into the second half when Bugiel raced on to a ball over the top of the Horsham defence and dinked the ball home, with the visitors appealing for offside.
Worthing gave a debut to Matt Axell, who has dual-signed for the club with East Preston, moments after taking the lead. He came on, with Ben Pope, for Laing and James Nicholls.
The hosts could have got a third on 74 minutes when Bugiel crossed for George Hayward but Rebels’ midfielder, who was off balance, fired high and wide from 12 yards, before Harvey Sparks blasted an effort just over from 18 yards with ten minutes to go.
Sparks sealed the win three minutes from time when he broke from his own half and played in Pope, who laid the ball back to Sparks and he slotted home into the far corner from 18 yards.
In the first minute of injury-time, Williams made an excellent low stop to keep out O’Neill’s shot.
But Worthing did add a fourth in the fourth minute of stoppage-time when Bugiel turned home Sparks’ low cross at the back post.