The Worthing College Men’s Football Performance Programme ECFA squad were in ESFA National Cup action this week against BHASVIC at Worthing FC.
With the fixture being an u18 game and in addition to this Worthing FC preparing for their biggest game in their history vs. Biggleswade Town in the FA Youth Cup many changes to the squad were made, however this gave an opportunity to see more players at this level of action against a very good BHASVIC side.
The blustery conditions potentially were not going to suit either team and with Worthing having the wind at their backs first half BHASVIC kept an excellent shape forcing Worthing to play the ball side to side rather than forward. When Worthing did create chances they were wasteful, which was going to haunt them in the end. They were excellent moves, however cross shots from James Thurgar and Harry Russell neither found a team mate or the back of the next.
The game was extremely tight, but on the half hour BHASVIC took the lead. Space left on the right hand side allowed the dominant centre midfielder to collect the ball and drive through to expertly chip the onrushing Ben Bingham in goal. 0-1.
This didn’t deter Worthing and they continued to knock on the door with Thurgar and Russell being the catalysts for any forward movement, supported superbly by the returning Tyler Nightingill after two months out from injury in the centre of midfield.
As the half came to an end two individual errors in the backline gave BHASVIC a strong position in the cup tie and went into half time 3-0 to the good.
Focus at half time was to stay confident as three goals at this level can be easily scored in good time. With this and the intensity stepped up Worthing started on the front foot. However it was the visitors who in the end got their decisive fourth goal. A ball headed goalwards from a corner deflected off Marshall Ball and in. 0-4.
For most an impossible mountain to climb, however Worthing got about this with pressure being constant in the BHASVIC half. The BHASVIC keeper was in fine form, making acrobatic saves from Ball, Thurgar and Russell.
The pressure soon mounted and allowed the quiet Jake Heryet on the day to come to life. His superb curling effort from the edge of the box gave Worthing hope with half and hour to go. 1-4.
Momentum was swinging towards the hosts and with advantage not being played when Russell would have put the ball into the net, Heryet stepped up and dispatched the free kick low into the bottom corner. 2-4.
Worthing began to believe. Again chances were created, but not taken. Thurgar got to the byeline and squared for Russell, however the ball bounced up at the wrong time and the chance was squandered. Russell did atone for this two minutes later, swivelling and volleying the ball home. 3-4.
Could Worthing take the game to extra time? More set pieces, which were frantically cleared by BHASVIC, however with no real clear cut chances in the last five minutes saw BHASVIC through to a last 16 tie at home to Farnborough.
Performance Coach Dave Hall was gutted for the group, especially after their second half response. “the difference today was that when we make individual errors they capitalised on them with goals, which was something we didn’t seem to do today. The first half wasn’t good enough, however most sides would have rolled over being 4-0 down, so credit in the second half. Personally we created enough to win this game twice over, but that’s football. They need to take this experience into the upcoming matches and continue to develop their football intelligence, which is what the programme is all about. Good luck to BHASVIC in the next round, as I’m sure they will represent Sussex with pride in this National competition.”