The Worthing College Men’s Football Programme hosted two games this week.  With players being injured, rested and a couple playing for Worthing’s 1st Team in the evening (great achievement) the 1st XI were without 12 potential players being available.  Their opposition were the form of the FAB Academy from Bisham Abbey, who had a perfect record at ECFA National League level.

Obvious changes allowed players to show themselves in terms of their progression.  The game started with FAB being on the front foot, however Worthing’s make-shift back four stayed firm, showing a great line to catch FAB offside on more than one occasion.  It took 10-15 minutes for Worthing to get into the game, but once captain Jazz Gilbertson, Scott Goodman and Tyrone Madhani got on the ball the game started to move into Worthing’s favour.

The hardworking Luke Richards had a great chance to take the lead.  He took the ball off the FAB centre back and rounded the goalkeeper.  From a wide position he struck the ball well, however his well struck finish was cleared off the line.  This seemed to wake FAB up and they probably had more of the possession, however Worthing were able disrupt their free flowing possession from the hard working and disciplined ethos across the squad from the front three to the back four.  Worthing almost trailed at half time however.  A long ball from the FAB centre back was misjudged from both Dave Beaney & goalkeeper Jimmy Punter, however Punter was able to get back and smother the ball.  Half Time 0-0.

Worthing needed to continue in their belief with regards to the quality shape they were keeping as well as the quality of possession, which allowed Worthing to create chances.  Both Jazz Gilbertson and Tyrone Madhani had strikes that were tipped around the post.  FAB continued to press and created chances, however when the back four were beaten, Punter was not to be beaten with some fine saves, both with hands and feet.

As the game wore on Worthing were continuing to frustrate their opponents because their 100% record was in jeopardy.  As this was coming more of a reality FAB really stepped up the pressure, hitting a post and forcing a few corners that were defended excellently.  Worthing themselves had chances from corners.  Some superb delivery from Madhani, was just missing a touch from the onrushing Worthing attackers.

The final play of the game saw Worthing defend another free kick and the referees whistle saw the Worthing players happy with a disciplined performance very well done.  Performance Coach Dave Hall was ecstatic with the performance of the whole squad, especially the newcomers “I’m so proud for the lads today.  FAB are an excellent side and they have 4-5 boys linked with professional clubs [1 being looked at by Glasgow Rangers], so it puts the level of competition into context.  The lads didn’t rush things and their positional sense was outstanding.  This is the first time FAB have been shut out goals wise as well as their first dropped points.  This for me bodes well for the players development and game intelligence, which is what the programme is all about.”

The 2nd XI were also in league action against local rivals Chichester College.  In a tight game where the game could have gone either way it was Worthing who got the winner.  Centre half Cameron Morrison drove from his own penalty area almost unchallenged and then fired the ball past this Chichester goalkeeper.  The most encouraging thing for Worthing were performances from the back four, who defended soundly and the likes of Oscar Gamble & Ellis Wilson who really impressed Performance Coach Danny Cullip.  This now extends Worthing’s lead in the BCS South East Performance League to five points with a game in hand over Bexhill Colleges’ 1st XI.

Onwards & Upwards,


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