This week the Men’s Football Performance 1st XI took to the field in the ESFA National Cup Round 2 against another local rival Varndean. In Round 1 BHASVIC took Worthing to extra time before winning through, so the squad were fully aware of the tough test that was ahead of them.
The Arundel FC pitch was in great condition and would allow Worthing to play their possession football. The aim was to start quickly and this was definitely the case as Worthing took the lead after 50 seconds. A Jack Barnes diagonal pass evaded the Varndean full back and winger Harry Smith struck the ball into the far corner. 1-0 Worthing. This allowed Worthing to get into a rhythm and it was only a further seven minutes before the lead was doubled. It was the same combination and exactly the same outcome with Smith again finishing with aplomb. 2-0 Worthing.
Smith was being a real thorn in Varndean’s side and was constantly at his opposite full back and again broke down the left only to be brought down. Penalty to Worthing. Smith was extremely confident in completing his hat trick, however his effort came off a post and out. The front three of Dennis, Smith and Richards were working exceptionally well and were creating chances. Richards was denied by the legs of the Varndean stopper and Dennis was terrorising his opposing full back and again a penalty was won after great work from Dennis. This time usual penalty taker Dennis stepped up, but the Varndean keeper made an excellent save to keep the score at 2-0.
Hopefully these misses were not going to effect Worthing and their progression, however this seemed to spur Varndean, who began to create pressure, which led to a couple chances that were excellently saved by Worthing keeper Jimmy Punter. Jazz Gilbertson in the Worthing midfield was working tirelessly to break up play and his hard work was about to pay off. Charlie Dennis flicked a ball down the line for Luke Richards to chase, which led to the Varndean keeper coming out, but only half clearing to Harvey Sparks, who calmly controlled the ball and sent it goalwards from around 35 yards. 3-0 Worthing.
At half time Worthing were asked to step up the performance and especially work on defensive shape and focus. The theme of the game was extremely similar to the first with Worthing being in control. This allowed Worthing to used the bench. Josh Marshall made his first appearance of the season and Matty Isaacs came on in midfield. Marshall wanted to make up for lost time and he combined exceptionally well with man of the match Harry Smith, who squared for Marshall to whip/chip the keeper with a superb finish. 4-0 Worthing. Further subs were made with Tyrone Madhani, Cam Morrison and keeper Lewis Blaney all making their first team bows. Richards deserved to finish a superb team move involving himself, Marshall and again Smith, however his strike was wayward. All in all a professional performance and a place in the third round against another strong local rival, Sussex Downs Lewes.
Football Performance Coach Dave Hall was satisfied with the day’s work; “it was a different type of game today, which required the players to dig in and be effective, rather than playing the pretty stuff. These type of games can be potential banana skins, but all the players were focused and the quick start definitely helped. A real learning curve for some today and I know that this will stand them in good stead with regards to their game intelligence development. Next week will be a real test at home to Milton Keynes, so all will need to continue with their top attitude and application if they are to put in a positive performance next week.”
Onwards & Upwards,