After a positive performance last week, even though the squad bowed out of the BCS National Cup, the BCS squad were back in league action looking to increase their unbeaten start.
The opposition were in the form of South Downs College from Havant, who had also had a good start to the season with 6 points from their first three games.
The game started solidly with Worthing keeping a good shape and looking to get the ball down to play on the excellent 3G surface. Jordan Marlow set the tone with some great tackles and headers to break up play. Oran Guile was getting into good positions in between the back four and midfield pushing Worthing forward. The first real chance for Worthing came from a set piece. Kieran O’Brien’s corner was met by centre back Harry Lewington, but his connection went high over the bar.
South Downs also looked to play and they were tough in the tackle and honest. They looked to create also, with clear chances coming from Worthing errors, however keeper Lee Whittaker wasn’t called into action too much.
At the half way stage of the first half Worthing really took the game to South Downs and came away with a two goal lead. Firstly Mitchell Hartley broke the offside trap and seemed to have missed his chance by being forced wide, however the tall striker swivelled and curled the ball into the far top corner. An excellent finish. 1-0.
The second came quickly after. Worthing’s back four were looking comfortable on the ball, then Lee Whittaker played the ball forward, which beat the South Downs centre half. Hartley capitalised by flicking Guile through and his left foot finish was clinical. 2-0.
That was the score at half time and the focus was to make sure that shape and discipline was continued as well as the ball being moved at pace and forward.
Worthing almost made a dream start to the half, only for the linesman’s flag to deny then. Great combination play in the midfield led to O’Brien sliding in Hartley to finish exquisitely, but the flag was raised, even though Hartley ran from deep.
As the second half wore on the game became more stretched with Worthing looking to dominate more on the break. Marlow and Chay Peters were breaking up play, allowing Conor Bull and O’Brien to get forward to support Hartley and Guile. Hartley could have added a second after an O’Brien cross, however a chance missed using the incorrect foot after an excellent team move.
Worthing’s quality was really beginning to shine through with the ball moving forward at pace. Hartley again was denied, which would have put the game beyond doubt. Guile did however score the vital third goal, breaking through the back line to lob the onrushing goalkeeper. 3-0.
South Downs to their credit were very honest and hard working and began to test Whittaker with long range efforts. With Worthing’s third goal changes were made. Luke Richards and Magic Sinbanda came on for Guile & Bull and this didn’t disrupt Worthing’s play. South Downs work rate got them a goal, which will always be disappointing from Worthing’s point of view. A slide pass was finished under Whittaker. 3-1.
Worthing were in command, however their opponents were looking to get back in the game and had a goal chalked off for offside after a Whittaker save. Sam Marsden and Ross Edwards replaced Hartley and Marlow for the final 15 minutes to allow all players game time. The scoring was completed by Richards after another O’Brien through ball and Richards held off his centre back opponent excellently and then finished high into the roof of the net. 4-1 Worthing.
So a promising performance and result back in league action today, which sees the squad now 3 wins from 3 in this competition. Performance Programme Coach Dave Hall was very pleased with today’s performance “the really positive thing about today and this season in general is that what Danny Cullip and I are trying to get across to these players about their game intelligence they are all taking on board and this is shown in terms of individual and group development. There were many positive performances today and what we asked before the game in terms of set piece organisation quality and movement was also there. So all in all a positive days work and the squad will move onto their County Cup Quarter Final next week.”