Worthing College Men’s 1st XI 4 Harefield Academy 1st XI 3 ECFA Elite League

Worthing College Men’s Football Performance programme had only one game this week.  For some of the players it was their last game in Worthing College colours, as it was the 1st XI’s final league game at home to Harefield.

After a delayed start Worthing started the game exceptionally well, creating 3 or 4 early opportunities.  Harvey Sparks rolled a great chance just wide after great work from Charlie Dennis.  A similar move saw Worthing take the lead.  Dennis again won the ball high and played in Luke Richards, who after a slip from the centre back allowed him to pass the ball through the legs of the onrushing Harefield keeper. 1-0.

Sparks was causing all sorts of problems with excellent tracking defensively as well as terrorising his opposing full back.  This led to Sparks being brought down by the Harefield left back, however the referee didn’t agree.  Richards attempt was blocked on the line.  Dennis was at the middle of the action also with another penalty appeal turned down.  Third time lucky saw Sparks being unfairly pushed off the ball.  This allowed Dennis to step up and cooly send the Harefield keeper the wrong way.  2-0.

From this Worthing seemed to take their foot off the pedal and allow their dangerous opponents back into the game.  Harefield had a goal disallowed for offside and looked dangerous from long throw ins, however a combination of good saves and decisions from Jimmy Punter made sure that the score stayed at 2-0 half time.

Worthing needed to concentrate and move the ball more quickly to ensure that their lead stayed in tact.  Improvement in defence from set plays was also a work on.  However 5 minutes in Harefield halved the lead from a long throw.  2-1.

Worthing then again woke up and began to dominate proceedings again.  Dennis and Richards were working closely together to create chances and the third goal was always on the cards.  This time Jack Barnes slid through to Richards, who again finished under the goalkeeper.  3-1.

Worthing could and should have extended their lead, but chances from Tyrone Madhani, Barnes, Sparks & Richards were all dragged wide.  This ensured that Harefield were always in the game and kept the hosts honest.  This was in evidence for their second goal, which ended in the centre forward getting in behind the backline and squaring to his attacking partner.  3-2.

Worthing again looked to reinforce their two goal lead and this was achieved when Richards scored his well deserved third goal.  This time a sublime piece of skill from Dennis saw him flick the ball over his opponent and then volley through to Richards, who drove past the centre halves and in similar fashion tucked the ball under the Harefield keeper.  4-2.

The scoring wasn’t finished there though.  A debatable free kick was awarded on the edge of the Worthing penalty area.  The ball did its job, however Jazz Gilbertson was adjudged to have handled the ball.  Penalty awarded.  The excellent Jimmy Punter unfortunately dived the right way, but the ball went underneath him.  4-3.

Worthing held on for the remaining three minutes to record a win in their final league game of the season.  Performance Coach Dave Hall was pleased with the final game of the season “the lads came up against a high quality opposition, despite their lowly league position.  At times we held onto the ball too much, which allowed Harefield to close us down, but hopefully those lads that are not coming back next year have taken a lot out of the process and have become better players for this experience.  With players making debuts at international level as well as Ryman League football shows that development is extremely positive within the programme and the boys should be extremely proud of their efforts.”

Onwards & Upwards,


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