After last week’s late cancellation by our opposition the Worthing College Men’s Football Programme took to league action for this first time this season. The opposition were none other than the current ECFA National Champions from the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, FAB Academy.
Worthing went into the game with 6 debutants in the match day squad with Elliot Dollner & Nick Oxley making starts and Pat Webber, James Thurgar, Eli Amoo and Marshall Ball taking their places on the bench.
Worthing were going to need a keep a great defensive and disciplined shape, whilst looking to break fast with the pace of Harry Russell and Oxley in wide areas. The game began with FAB keeping possession, but Worthing standing firm, especially as a back four. As the half wore on Worthing began to gain confidence in possession with the midfield three of Scott Goodman, Ross Edwards & Tyler Nightingill getting hold of the ball. On two occasions Oxley was set free, but only to be cleared when the final pass/shot was going to be released.
Set pieces were also going to be a big factor in the games outcome. A great delivery from Dave Beaney from the left with great movement from Sam Marsden allowing him to beat the keeper, but not the bar.
FAB were again becoming dominant in possession and were starting to create chances they too hit the post on two occasions and Worthing were thankful for keeper Jimmy Punter, who superbly tipped a third effort onto the post at point blank range.
With the half coming to an end Worthing were looking forward to going into half time with scores level. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be. A free kick on the edge of the box was mis-read by Punter, but still expert executed. 0-1.
This shouldn’t have deterred Worthing, however the real killer blow came in stoppage time. Harry Russell was in an honest, yet unfamiliar defensive position and was excellently turned by the winger, who clipped the ball to the back post for the onrushing number 10 to score. 0-2.
Half time was required to take the positives out of the half when in possession and if the final ball was improved in terms of decision and quality Worthing could possibly get back into this game against their illustrious opponents.
Unfortunately Worthing were caught cold when a cross caused confusion and FAB capitalised. 0-3. Many teams could have crumbled, but to their credit Worthing continued their philosophy and resorted FAB to longer passes, which were easily cut out. Chances were still created with just the final ball lacking. Harry Russell was almost on the end of two of these. The massive positives for the squad that all new members got game time at the impressive Bisham Abbey venue against very high quality opposition, so again a fantastic learning experience for all players involved.
Many individual performances warranted praise, but Elliot Dollner was quite rightly named as man of the match for his colossal defensive performance.
Onwards & Upwards (coach questions to follow shortly),