After the half term break the Worthing College Football Performance Programme had both sides involved in Cup competitions. The 1st XI had a local derby against Chichester College in the 1st Round of the SSFA County Cup meanwhile the 2nd XI travelled to Merrist Wood (Guildford) in the 1st Round of the British Colleges Cup.
The 1st XI match was moved from Arundel FC to the Hill Barn training fields due to the recent weather, which produced a surface that isn’t too conducive to free flowing football, however this allowed the players to adapt their game and make sure that they played the conditions. The game itself started scrappy with both teams surrendering possession far too easily, however a bit of quality gave Worthing an early lead. A Charlie Dennis through ball found striker Luke Richards, who got to the byeline and crossed for Dennis, who had continued his run to produce a fine, controlled finish. 1-0 Worthing.
From this Worthing should have pressed on, however too many touches in possession again gave it up all too easily. Chichester were working hard throughout, and were creating half chances, especially from set pieces. However the Worthing defence and keeper Jimmy Punter were standing firm and that’s how the scores stayed until the half time interval.
The word at half time was to play the ball quicker, especially in the middle of the park and get the ball into wide and attacking areas more often to stretch the Chichester defence. This was in evidence 5 minutes into the second half when Worthing doubled their lead. A neat build up between Luke Richards, Chris Potkins and Jack Barnes led to Barnes feeding Richards, who turned and shot into the top corner. 2-0 Chichester.
The second goal seemed to settle Worthing down and they began to dominate possession and make their opponents chase the ball to regain it. Worthing did have one scare when a ball over the top found Chichester’s left winger, who gratefully shot straight at Jimmy Punter.
Worthing further extended their lead when a Sparks set piece bounced free in the box and dropped to Dennis, who struck the ball against the bar and in. 3-0 Worthing. That’s how the result stayed and Worthing booked their place in Round 2, an away tie at Cardinal Newman.
Performance Coach Dave Hall was extremely pleased with the teams performance after two league reverses. “It was great to see the boys playing with so much confidence. The players played the conditions and definitely took another step in their football development, in terms of being able to adapt their game to suit the playing conditions, which at this time of the year is a must.”
It was a trip to Guilford for the 2nd XI for a BCS cup match vs Merrist Wood. A good pitch allowed the boys to play some fluent football. The game was tight and both sides were lacking in creativity, it was evident the game was going to be won by a single goal. After an end to end first half with the home side having the better chances, Worthing came out for the second half with a different attitude. Neither side could find a breakthrough until the 75th minute where Merrist took the lead through a cross which evaded everyone to find a player unmarked at the back post who slotted home. The game took an interesting twist after as Tyrone was taken down and Worthing were awarded a penalty. He then stepped up and slammed the ball into the Top corner. 1-1. In the aftermath of the goal a sour situation rose which is to be further investigated. However, the referee felt obliged to abandon the game in the 88th minute.