After last week’s excellent team performance against Norfolk opponents Dereham Town; the Worthing College Football Performance Programme needed the same again with the opposition being in the form of old rivals Boreham Wood.
Worthing knew that this would be a difficult game as the previous records are pretty even, with Boreham Wood coming out 3-1 winners back in November.
With last weeks performance only one enforced change was made with the injured Jimmy Punter being replaced by Lewis Blaney between the sticks.
Worthing started the more confident and were on the front foot early with Jack Barnes and Scott Goodman dictating the play from the middle of the park. This allowed Worthing to move the ball quickly into the final third. Boreham Wood looked to play the ball out from the back, however as Worthing’s team shape was excellent errors were forced with Worthing winning back possession relatively quickly.
Worthing were starting to create chances with Harry Smith, Barnes & Luke Richards all hitting shots wide of the target. Whilst at the other end Blaney dealt with everything both in hand and on the floor superbly. Worthing were getting closer to breaking the deadlock with Barnes and Ossie Guile hitting the post and bar respectively.
Worthing had to make another enforced change on the quarter hour, which had a very positive impact on this tight encounter. Guile picked up a knock, so was replaced by Harry Russell. With a tactical re-shuffle the emphasis was placed on Worthing to take the lead.
A diagonal pass into the Boreham Wood area was strongly challenged by both Russell and keeper with the ball dropping to Smith to side foot home the first goal. 1-0.
As the half wore on Worthing were playing with more discipline and game intelligence, which was excellent to see. Richards could have doubled Worthing’s lead only for his effort to be saved.
At half time the emphasis was looking to play slightly higher up the pitch to apply even more pressure on the Boreham Wood defensive line. With the conditions worsening it would be down to the team, who was most effective who would take the points.
Boreham Wood started strongly with their wingers and front men looking to get on the front foot to increase their chances. To Worthing’s credit the back four of Jack Punter, Matt Smith, Dave Beaney & Scott Raffery were focused in their approach and made sure the Blaney only had routine saves to make.
Harry Smith was now beginning to get into the game and force back his opponent with direct runs. A driving central run was only stopped by the goalkeepers save and a couple of deliveries flashed across the box with no takers.
For the last few weeks the quality and movement from set pieces had been under scrutiny from the coaching staff, but this was definitely not the case today, with Barnes delivering some inviting set pieces. This culminated in the second and decisive goal in the game. A Barnes corner was met by the towering Sam Marsden. 2-0.
With the game still tight Worthing stood to their game plan with the final whistle blown another positive performance given, which led to a positive result. Performance Coach Dave Hall “the programme is all about developing the players game intelligence and today was another great example. Boreham Wood are both physical and technical and the boys to their credit showed great shape off the ball and quality on it. A clean sheet as well was something that both Danny and I were really pleased with. This puts us in the mix for a National play-off place and if the players continue to show this level of performance then who knows where this might take them.”