The Worthing College Men’s Football Performance Programme have had a positive couple of weeks advancing in both National League and County Cup competitions. The previous week the Men’s 1st XI defeated Harefield Academy 4-3 in a very competitive England Colleges’ National League encounter. The game was played at Brighton RFC’s Waterhall 3g due to recent weather conditions. Worthing started brightly and quickly took the game to their skillful opponents and Worthing’s effective style of play allowed them to open up a 3-0 lead. Two goals from Harvey Sparks and a neat finish by Harry Smith seemed to put the hosts in an unassailable lead, however just before half time Harefield and broke away to score despite the excellent tracking efforts of Sparks and Shaun Cook.
The team talk at half time was based upon keeping focus and that the next goal would be crucial to where the points would be heading. The visitors were invigorated after their break and they were the ones to be on the scoresheet to bring the game back into their reach. A mis timed header from Jacob Parazo led to the Harefield winger cutting in to finish. Worthing were still a force in the game with striker Jared Rance causing the Harefield centre halves many headaches. However another diagonal pass was not cut out which led to the dangerous Harefield number 9 finishing under pressure from Parazo and centre half Jordan Dudas.
Many sides could have crumbled and allowed their opponents to go on and win the game, not Worthing. They rallied and began to get back on top of their Watford FC linked opponents. Rance went close, so did Dudas with a header, but with 5 minutes left Worthing did find a winner and it was the in form Rance who ran onto a Charlie Dennis pass and slotted the ball under the advancing keeper. This win meant that Worthing now have a 5 wins from 5 games record in the ECFA National League and this prompted coach Dave Hall to say “the boys showed great character today and this shows that they are not only developing their technical and tactical ability they are also improving their game intelligence, which will take them to the next level as players. The game itself was an excellent advert for this level of College football and I’m so pleased with all of the players and their development so far this season. They are a credit to themselves and the College.”
This week saw both Men’s Football sides in County Cup Quarter Final action. Both squads were looking to emulate last season where both teams got to their respective finals. The 1st XI were made to work extremely hard for their 3-1 victory at Steyning. After a tight first half, which was goal less, Jared Rance’s strong run allowed Harvey Sparks to tap in from close range. Steyning were given a way back into the game after Greg Gander’s backpass was missed by keeper James Binfield. Steyning were extremely industrious in their play, but a Jack Barnes strike from the edge of the area was only parried into the top corner and Rance got his name on the score sheet from the penalty spot after Sparks was brought down. With the 1st XI in their Semi Final the 2nd XI took on Shoreham Academy’s 1st XI to see if they could match the 1st XI’s result. Unfortunately a very physical and direct Shoreham side put pay to this with two quick fire goals in the second half and despite having a few chances Worthing ended up being knocked out 3-0. In a mixed week for the programme coach Dave Hall was reflective “having watched the video of both games I thought both sides played well. The 1’s got the game won, which is what is needed, especially in difficult conditions. The 2’s played well, but came up against a strong Shoreham side and sometimes you get beaten by the better side and this was the case. I can’t fault the application and attitude of all players involved and this will stand them in good stead for their footballing development.”
The Women’s Football Performance Programme welcomed Bristol Academy for the 2nd week in a row this time in the British Colleges’ Elite League. They welcome back 4 players into the starting line up with hopes to press the ball higher up the pitch and create chances winning the ball in the final 1/3. The game started very evenly with both sides attacking but without causing any real danger to the oppositions goalkeeper. Neither team was coping well with a wet pitch that wasn’t allowing them to try and keep the ball. Amy Green had the first shot of note for Worthing when she drove through midfield and stuck a shot from 25 yards that went sailing over the top. With Bristol’s main attacking threat being to attempt balls in behind the Worthing left back Becky Simmonds who was dealing with the threat comfortably.
As the half wore on Worthing started to look tired in their passing and out of ideas of how to break down a stubborn Bristol defence while Bristol only threat was down their right side at this point a stalemate was looking a real possibility until with 10 minutes left of the half a tight offside call went the way of the Bristol player who raced onto the ball and lifted it over the onrushing Natalie Woolven into the empty net 1-0 Bristol from their 1st real attempt at goal. The game carried on in this pattern until half time.
The second half started much the same way with both sides providing no problems to the opposition but as the half wore on Worthing became increasingly tired and sloppy in their play which meant Bristol started to become dominant in possession and play higher up the pitch. At this time Worthing’s goalkeeper and back four where standing strong and keeping them in the game with less and less support from the players in front of them. Finally the pressure told when a well worked 2nd goal came which visibly deflated an already tired Worthing side. The final goal came with 2 minutes to go when the Bristol forward calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner.
The Netball Performance Programme continued their development against a very strong Peter Symonds of Winchester in the Hampshire League. Symonds had two British Colleges’ players in their starting line up, but this didn’t deter Worthing as they took an early lead 4-1 with the girls working extremely hard on defending and turning the ball over with good feeding into a holding shooter, Emily Begley. This good early start just made Symonds work harder and their quality started to show with the first quarter ended 8-4 to Symonds.
The second quarter again started well for Symonds, Worthing did not score for the first 5 minutes but gradually we got it together and the quarter ended with Symonds 10 goals in front.
Third quarter we went out determined to match them and Katie Pearcy fed some great balls into Emily Begley which she scored with. An excellent quarter for us 7-7.
Fourth quarter started well with the girls determined to continue the good work but unfortunately Laura Joseph, who had had an excellent game working extremely hard in defence, went down with an ankle injury (which later turned out to be a fracture) which left us with 6 players.
The game ended 32-20 a respectable score against an excellent team. Performance Coach Tina Price “The movement of the England GA off the ball was exceptional and the speed and determination of the England C, coupled with her reading of the game was a pleasure to watch, even though we lost. A brave effort girls.”
The second team were completely outclassed by an extremely talented 2nd Peter Symonds team however they never moaned and just got on with it. A credit to the college. 41-4 loss.
New Basketball Coach Dom Baker took the Performance Programme to Christ’s Hospital in the BCS Cup. After defeat to St Paul’s the week previously Worthing needed to put a performance up on the board and they certainly did as all the hard work on offensive moves seemed to do the trick with Worthing winning 107-36. Coach Baker was extremely pleased with the squads performance, but singled out Ben Evans and Elliot Winfield for their contributions off the bench. Holy Trinity await in the next round, who are one of the top sides in the Country, so a difficult next round for Baker and his squad.
The Rugby Performance Programme took on Simon Langton Grammar School in the Daily Mail Vase. In blustery conditions Langton took the lead with a converted try, however Worthing’s use of the catch and drive was looking effective, which lead to captain Angus Hodges to touch down. The forwards again were putting in some good work and this lead to Rhys Thompson bundling over and with Jordan Gibson converting both efforts to give Worthing a 14-7 lead at half time.
For how excellent the performance of the first half this was mirrored by a poor start to the second, where Worthing never really got going. Langton turned over and their full back broke 4 tackles to score and the conversion was good to level the scores at 14-14. Worthing looked to respond, but despite pressure in the visitors 22, Worthing made many errors to allow the visitors score twice more, both unconverted.
Performance Programme Coach Ben Coulson evaluated the sides performance “there was lots of great work from the players, especially in the first period, however the energy levels seemed to fade in the second half, which was the teams downfall. However the squad are developing all the time and more building blocks have been laid, which will develop their individual and team performances.”
Onwards & Upwards,