Worthing College Men’s Football Performance Programme missed the chance to travel to Leeds City College in the last 8 of the ECFA Premier National Cup after being narrowly defeated 1-0 against East Berkshire College at East Preston FC last Friday. Worthing College started the brighter with two quick chances coming from set pieces, both times defender Dan Heward found himself with a free header, but couldn’t find the net. Wingers Lee Mottershead and Toko Moyo were giving their opposing full backs a hard time with their direct style and it was Moyo, who forced the first save after going through one on one with the goalkeeper, but only a corner was gained. Midway through the half the visitors began to get into their stride, following their late arrival to the ground due to travel issues and it was East Berkshire to score when on top, which was decisive moment in the match. A fluid passing move was finished by East Berkshire’s skilful number 8, who beat keeper James Binfield at his near post.
Despite going one down, Worthing began to get back into the game and midfielder Jared Rance miscued his lobbed effort with only the keeper to beat after a great pass from Dave O’Callaghan. Worthing were well in the match despite not being their usual fluid passing selves, with possession too easily given up. With this a change was made with only 35 minutes on the clock. Rance was replaced by Paco Vasquez to sure up the midfield and this seemed to motivate Worthing, who had the best chance of the half to equalise. Moyo again took on his full back and delivered a sublime cross, which was met by Mottershead, but his strike came off the post and just evaded skipper Joe Warner.
At half time the message was to be patient and to make sure that the team shape, which Worthing pride themselves on. Straight from the kick off it seemed as if Worthing wanted to get back in the tie. This time is was Mottershead’s cross that eventually reached Moyo, but his shot was well blocked. The standard of football being played was excellent with both teams defending superbly. In a game that was honest and entertaining for the 30 or so supporters who were at the match it took a strange twist with 15 minutes to go. Moyo was withdrawn for Ryan Hallett, whose left footed effort just missed the near post. After an aerial challenge between Lewis Jenkins and three opponents a free kick to Worthing was given and in the melee that followed TWO East Berkshire players were given their marching orders, which bemused all expect for the man that counts, the referee. Worthing could now really take it to their opponents to force extra time, but to their credit East Berkshire defended well and Worthing only created two or three goal mouth scrambles, which were only half chances. With time running out midfielder Shaun Cook went honestly into a tackle, which the referee deemed to be a bookable offence and his second, so he became the third player to leave the field of play. With that came the final whistle and disappointment from the Worthing players. Unfortunately Mottershead’s frustration was a little too strong and this resulted in another red card for the referee to put in his report.
Performance Programme Coach Dave Hall was reflective in his summary of the game saying “After looking at the video of the game it was an extremely tight affair, which is what you would expect at this level of football and if you are not at your best the result can go either way. East Berkshire scored when they were on top and fair play to them and we wish them luck for the next round. With regards to the sending offs it wasn’t that type of game, but the players need to learn that if on a yellow you can’t dive in and if the referee is looking to give out cards don’t give him a reason to even if you think he is wrong as its his opinion that counts. After the season we are having at times it maybe good to lose like this, so that the group can refocus and see how hard they have actually worked to get where they are. We have three league games left and a County Cup Semi Final next week so we will take it one game at a time and if the boys continue to put in the effort I’m sure that they will reap the rewards that are still on offer.”
This Wednesday sees another big week for the Worthing College Sports Performance Programme with the Rugby 1st XV taking on Oaklands in the BCS National Cup Quarter Finals at Worthing Leisure Centre with a 2pm KO. Both Men’s Football Performance Programme sides are in County Cup Semi Final action with the 1st XI playing at Sussex Downs Lewes and the 2nd XI playing at Hazelwick School of Crawley with both finals being played under lights at Lancing FC the squad need to bounce back from Friday’s disappointments.
Onwards & Upwards,