After last week’s gutting defeat with the last kick of the game against FAB; the Worthing Men’s Football Academy squad travelled to face old rivals Boreham Wood in the ECFA National League. Boreham Wood have returned from one of the other National Leagues and it was going to be another encounter, where the Worthing players were looking to build upon their game awareness and intelligence.
Again Performance Coach Dave Hall had faith in his younger members of the squad with eight first years making the starting XI and a further two on the bench; a superb experience for these players at their age to pit their wits against top players. Jack Newhouse and Luke Brodie came in for full debuts in place of Harry Russell and Lucas Rodrigues, who were unavailable. Ruben Schneider also came in for his first start to replace the rested Lewis Broughton.
Tactical preparation was highlighted in terms of Boreham Wood’s direct and effective approach along with their variety and strength at set pieces. However unfortunately for Worthing they didn’t seem to take this on board with Boreham Wood on the front foot from the off. Even with the early pressure from the hosts Worthing were looking dangerous on the break, especially from the hard running of Brodie and James Thurgar looking to take on his full back.
Worthing then received a double blow. Firstly they conceded from a corner, which the tactical preparation did predict, but runners were not picked up or kept with ball side, which allowed the classy number 10 to drive home. 0-1. Then Matt Boiling, who was driving out from the back came off injured after a tackle, which required Marshall Ball to drop into centre half with Curtis Griffin coming into midfield to join Charlie Williamson and James Frankling.
Worthing were being wasteful in possession and taking too many touches, which on a tight pitch allowed the opposition to close down and win possession back all too easily. Worthing never got going and apart from a few half chances from Brodie, Thurgar and Newhouse Worthing didn’t really look like getting on the score sheet. To compound this Boreham Wood’s effectiveness allowed them to increase their lead at half time to 3-0.
Focus at half time was to remember the work rate and desire along with game intelligence that the same squad put into the week previously and to Worthing’s credit they did this for the first part of the second half. Worthing showed belief in the challenge and looked to move forward with the ball. Williamson and Brodie were real catalysts in this sense and looked to drive the team forward.
Worthing thought they had won a penalty when Newhouse was bundled down in the area only for the offside flag to thwart his appeals. Air was taken out of Worthing sails for a final time when Boreham Wood scored their 4th and 5th goals. Subs Broughton (for Walsh) and Jakob Heryet (for Frankling) making his first appearance tried hard to maintain the philosophy and shape until the end, however the damage was done in the first half. 5-0 final score.
Performance Coach Dave Hall was reflective in his debrief “I think the squad now know what sort of level of football this is. Preparation for long trips away is paramount if players want to develop and play as high as they can. They didn’t do this today unfortunately and were punished by a very good Boreham Wood side. However if the performance levels were the same as the previous week we could have been looking at a different scoreline. Its great to see so many first year players getting this type of experience, but we all need to learn quickly that consistency is key to being able to get results week in week out and at the same time developing game intelligence when things are not going your way as a team. A very frustrating defeat as we all know the capabilities of this young side. I’m looking forward to seeing them develop over the coming weeks and months ahead.”
Definitely a case of Onwards,