The Men’s Football Performance Programme took to the lavish facilities at Bisham Abbey to take on league leaders FAB Academy in this week’s ECFA National League encounter.
The recent poor weather had no effect on the professionally designed and nurtured pitch, with the option of a pitch watering decided against before the start of play.
Worthing again looked to build upon their game intelligence against a very slick outfit. Worthing’s discipline in team shape whilst FAB were in possession led to the league leaders losing possession or opting to deliver longer, more risky passes. Despite the lack of possession Worthing had the clearer chances of the first half. The powerful Harry Russell made the excellent FAB keeper work on at least three separate occasions and Ossie Guile had a chance that went just past the post.
With 30 minutes gone FAB broke the deadlock. A slight switch off in the full back position allowed their tricky number 10 (and South Korea youth international) to beat his man as well as Jimmy Punter in the Worthing goal. 1-0.
Worthing hit back with again Russell causing problems but his run was just too eager and the offside flag denying him another chance at the FAB stopper. With one minute to go before the half came a real hammer blow. Their centre midfielder, who is attracting interest from a number of professional clubs drove the ball 25-yards out with the outside of his foot into the far top corner. Class effort. 2-0.
The focus at half time was to continue with the attitude, application and discipline to get a foothold in the game. The second half started slowly, but again Worthing had a chance from a set piece. Guile delivered but Dave Beaney could only head over with the goalkeeper committed.
Worthing minds were continued to be focused with Jack Barnes and Scott Goodman leading the charge from the centre of midfield against numerous runners. FAB were creating chances, but not testing Punter in the Worthing goal. Again Harry Russell beat two defenders and this time tried to chip the advancing goalkeeper, but his performance was again up to the challenge that Russell had faced him all game.
With Worthing pressing for a goal to get back into the game FAB broke and it was that man (number 10) who calmly chopped back twice and slid the ball under Punter with 2 minutes to go. 3-0 and the points staying in Buckinghamshire.
Despite the result Performance Programme Coach was very upbeat “the difference today was composure all over the park. We worked exceptionally hard and kept a disciplined shape, which allowed us to create clear cut chances. Looking back at the video on another day FAB’s resolve would have been tested if our chances were converted. This was a great side and facility to come to for these players to continue their performance development and this is why we continue to be at the top table of England Colleges’ Football. The opposition coaches were very complimentary of how we played and gave their squad a test, which on another day could have been points on the board, but that’s football.”