After a well earned Christmas break the Men’s Football Performance Programme were back in action with an AoC Category 2 league game at Worthing FC. The opposition were in the form of Moneyfields FC and their 1st XI.
The game started in a typically post Christmas affair with both sides giving up possession too easily and players looking to get back into the swing of things in terms of shape and discipline. The visitors were looking more dangerous as the half went on and this was shown by hitting the woodwork twice in close succession. The first being from a free kick, which Worthing keeper Ben Bingham tipped onto the post and the second coming from a corner.
This pressure seemed to spur Worthing into life, but only briefly. Joel Davison played a superb outside of the foot pass into the path of Nick Oxley, whose shot was excellently tipped onto the crossbar.
This pressure was only temporary with the Moneyfields midfield taking control of the game, with short sharp passing and being strong in the tackle. Midway through the first half the visitors took a well deserved lead. A mix up at the back allowed the left winger to cut inside and beat Bingham. 0-1.
Worthing needed to up their game and get closer to their opponents to force mistakes. The only bright spark for Worthing was Oxley and again his direct running almost resulted in Worthing getting back into the game, by firstly flashing a shot just past the far post and secondly after an excellent counter attack, just failing to find striker Eli Amoo with the final ball.
Back came Moneyfields, who were definitely up for this game and they again deservedly got a second goal. The goal came from a free kick, which saw Bingham unsighted and the ball unfortunately bounced over the Worthing keeper. 0-2.
Half time was what was needed for Worthing and the focus was strongly highlighted by the coaching staff in terms of getting closer when not in possession and moving the ball quickly and positively when in possession.
To their credit Worthing heeded the message and were quickly back in the game. An excellent pass from Davison again found Oxley, who beat his full back only to be brought down in the penalty area. Up stepped Conor Bull, who sent the Moneyfields goalkeeper the wrong way. 1-2.
Set pieces are vital in both winning and losing games, which the squad make a real focus of. This attitude got Worthing level, with Bull being the provider from a corner for Oxley to get in on the act and head the ball in at the near post. 2-2.
Worthing made a change with Bull being replaced by Jordan Welch to give a focal point to the Worthing attack. Worthing were really taking the game to Moneyfields with only set pieces for the visitors giving them any chance of taking the lead. Bingham in the Worthing goal was being positive with both his communication and coming for crosses, which gave the back four real confidence.
Oxley got his second of the game after some excellent quick thinking from Marshall Ball. His diagonal quick free kick was expertly taken by Oxley, who slid the ball under the advancing keeper. 3-2.
Worthing were now really turning it on and Oxley got his deserved hat trick after unselfish play from Welch, who squared for Oxley to tap in. 4-2. Worthing kept their discipline and shape, which allowed them to create more chances. The scoring didn’t finish there with four more goals scored in the final 15 minutes. Welch, Joe Patching and a brace from Eli Amoo. Josh Warner came on and impressed for Nick Oxley, who quite rightly got a nice ovation from the home crowd and Chay Peters replaced Marshall Ball, which to the squads credit didn’t disrupt the flow of the second half performance with the final score being 8-2 to Worthing.
Performance Programme Coach Dave Hall was pleased with the second half display “its vital to hit the ground running after the Christmas break and to be honest we were not meeting the high standards that we expect in the first half and Moneyfield’s quite rightly took the lead. However great credit to the squad as they kept doing the right things in the second half and continued to take the game to their opponents, which will be a vital part of their game intelligence development, which can only stand them in good stead for their future footballing development.”