Whitehawk and Worthing first met in a competitive game on 3rd October 1953 in the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Amateur Cup. The Hawks were in their second season as a County League side and Worthing were members of the Corinthian League, having left the County League in 1948. The game was played on an enclosed ground, behind canvas, on pitch no2 at the bottom of Wilson Avenue. Remarkably the Hawks beat their more senior neighbours 8-1 and went on to have their best ever run in the competition.
Hawks team for first ever match v Worthing: Mickey Robins, John ‘Susie’ Oliver, Bill ‘Dusty’ Miller (c), Bill ‘Cocker’ Blunt, Syd Towner, Jack Sturgess, Fred Sallis, Billy Thew, Jimmy Sallis, Harry Sargent & Ronnie Bliss
The two sides met again less than two months later on the 28th November 1953 in the 2nd Round of the Sussex Senior Cup. The Hawks won again, 1-0 at Woodside Road. Worthing’s cause wasn’t helped by the fact that their star striker Alan Arnell was needed to play in the First Division for Liverpool! The picture above shows Hawks keeper Mickey Robins gathering the ball from Rebels striker Stillwell.
In 1955 the two teams played each other four times in cup ties within 8 weeks. The Rebels first ever win against the Hawks was 3-2 at Woodside Road in the FA Amateur Cup 1st Qualifying Round and they followed this up with a 2-1 win in the County Cup after a 3-3 draw at the Enclosed Ground. For good measure they also knocked the Hawks out of the RUR Cup with a 4-2 win in Brighton.
In 1962 the Hawks, with the double of County League and Cup already won, met Worthing in the annual Charity Cup final in May, winning 3-1 and securing an unprecedented treble. Hawks scorers were Les Adams, Eddie Richardson and Billy Ford.
In February 1965 Worthing knocked the Hawks out of the RUR Cup, winning 2-0 at the Enclosed Ground. In 1987 Worthing won 1-0 in the Senior Cup 1st round at the Enclosed Ground and also beat the Hawks 1-0 at Woodside Road in February 1989 in the Sussex Floodlit Cup.
In April 2002, the two sides met in the semi-final of the Brighton Charity Cup at the Enclosed Ground. Hawks were managed by Ian Chapman and Rebels of the Ryman League by Barry Lloyd. In 1997 Worthing won 5-0 over two legs of the Floodlight Cup, 4-0 at Woodside Road and 1-0 at the Enclosed Ground
The first ever league meeting between the two sides was in Ryman South on 28th September 2010, ending in a 0-0 draw at Woodside Road. Hawks won the return fixture 1-0. The following season in November 2011, Sami El-Abd equalised in the 92nd minute from a James Fraser corner to earn the Hawks a 1-1 draw.
The last league game between the sides was in Feb 2012 at the Enclosed Ground. The match finished 1-1, with James Fraser scoring for the Hawks and ex-Hawk Ryan McBride getting the equaliser.
Footnote: The Hawks first ever appearance at Woodside Road, Worthing in 1951 was a memorable moment in our history. We beat Eastbourne Town 1-0 in the Sussex Senior Cup Final to win our first major trophy.