The Women’s football academy kicked off the season with a long trip up to Birmingham to face Solihull College.

The game started off brightly, with Solihull having the majority of possession, but the Worthing midfield and defence kept their shape well to prevent them getting through on goal. Worthing began to grow in to the game, and with some great kicking from Worthing goalkeeper, Molly Towers, we started to get in behind the Solihull defence and cause them problems as Annie Rolf and Clara Diavolemonos, latched on to the long balls over the top. However, it was Solihull who struck first as a long ball through the middle reached the striker who managed to turn away from the Worthing defender and find the back of the net from just inside the penalty area. Solihull’s 1-0 lead gave them more confidence and they started to create more chances, with Molly Towers having to produce a couple of good saves to deny them a second. Unfortunately, Solihull did score a second when another long ball down the middle fell to the same player who managed to take the ball round the Worthing keeper and slot the ball home in to an empty net. Worthing remained positive and continued to look dangerous on the counter attack and also set piece situations. A good first half performance from Worthing, and unlucky to go into the break 2-0 down.

Worthing took the positives from the first half and started the second half strong, putting Solihull under immediate pressure. A well taken corner from captain Danielle Rowe, was met in the air by Annie Rolf, who’s powerful header found the back of the net, despite the defender on the lines efforts to keep it out. Solihull responded well and began to move the ball quickly in midfield and also switching the ball out to the wings, but Worthing remained disciplined and worked hard to ensure that they couldn’t find a way through. Solihull made it 3-1 with only 10 minutes left to play, a low driven shot from the edge of the box. Worthing, not disheartened, finished the game well, not allowing Solihull to increase their lead further, with Emily Baker making an excellent clearance off the line to deny a certain goal. The game finished 3-1 to Solihull.

It was a good team performance, with lots of positives to take on in to the season ahead. Also, well done to the 7 girls who made their debuts for the college.

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