After a positive pre season training and friendly programme the Worthing College Football Performance Programme began their season in the ESFA National Cup first round against local rivals BHASVIC.
Debuts were handed to goalkeeper Jimmy Punter, defenders Matt Smith & Gianni Martinkovic as well as midfielder Josh Coupar. Worthing’s organisation and playing style was apparent from the beginning as they settled into an effective passing style. Midfielders Charlie Dennis and Harvey Sparks were combining well to get behind the BHASVIC defence, which began to create many a chance for the visitors. Sparks, Dennis, Harry Smith, Luke Richards and Jack Barnes were all guilty of missing chances, however the build up was of a high quality for so early on in the season.
To their credit BHASVIC worked hard to frustrate Worthing and could have lead at half time after a rare break was saved by Punter. The call from coaches Dave Hall & Danny Cullip at half time was to keep playing the same way and not to get frustrated.
The second half began much like the first with Worthing dominant in possession and territory, however goals decide games not possession statistics. Smith and Richards again went close before it was debutant Matt Smith, who scored from a well worked Sparks free kick. Worthing seemed to then take their foot off the gas, which was a grave error in their judgement. A Worthing corner was cleared and the BHASVIC striker took the ball past both Josh and Jacob Parazo and finished cooly with Punter having no chance.
This took the game into extra time and from this point the spirited BHASVIC tired, which allowed Harry Smith the freedom to roam through their backline after a Josh Parazo diagonal pass to finish with aplomb. The game was secured when Luke Richards stabbed through in off the cross bar with two minutes left.
Worthing have now secured a home tie against another local rival Varndean in the next three weeks. Performance Coach Dave Hall was still pleased with the performance despite it going the extra 30 minutes. “Believe it or not we were pleased with how the boys applied themselves and how they looked to play the game. The only thing missing was putting the ball into the net, which is what we will focus on during our next set of recovery and technical sessions. When in the cup its all about the result and to gain the result and a performance is pleasing so early on in the season.”
Both Performance squads are in action next week with the 1st XI at home to Kingston in the ECFA National League and the 2nd XI taking on South Downs away in the BCS South East League.
Onwards & Upwards,