The Worthing College Men’s Football were looking for a positive reaction after last week’s set of performances that weren’t at the levels of expectation. The programme provides many experiences for players to learn from and develop. This week was no different. The AoC squad made the trip to Ventnor to take on the Isle of Wight College in the Cat 2 league.
Preparation was key and vital in terms of this type of journey. Performance Coach Dave Hall made seven changes to the starting line up with the back four including Dan Longo, Andrea Guiso, Elliot Dollner and Tristan Vandenberg. In midfield Curtis Griffin partnered Giuseppe Gaute-Lammi with Liam Reynolds also returning. Captain Eli Amoo was looking to build upon his goal last time out and was linked with Luke Rutherford and Charlie Williamson in a side that was strong, but young in terms of experience at this level.
Worthing started brightly by moving the ball into wide positions with Rutherford and Williamson looking to take their man on at all times. Reynolds was also impressing, back after injury and could have given Worthing the lead. A positive run from full back Longo and his great cut back found Reynolds, but his strike was superbly saved by the IoW goalkeeper. Reynolds was again in the middle of the action and this time his excellent strike came back off the post with the goalkeeper beaten all ends up.
Defensively the back four were keeping a positive shape and the side were breaking up counter attacks effectively, which was a work on point from the week before. However when the game is level its always important to keep focused and not switch off at this level. Unfortunately for a split second this happened and keeper Luke Ramsay spilled a shot and the IoW number 9 slotted home. 0-1.
To their credit Worthing continued to play the right way the Griffin and Lammi switching the play effectively with Longo, Williamson and Rutherford being a constant threat. Just before half time Worthing were back into the game, rightly so. It was that man again Eli Amoo, who pounced on an Elliot Dollner knockdown. 1-1.
At half time the focus was to move the ball quicker, react with the knockdowns and develop on defending set pieces. The players fully took this on board and continued to press their islander opponents. Worthing were winning a number of corners, however no real clear cut chances came from them.
The back four of Longo, Dollner, Vandenberg & Guiso were keeping an excellent shape and the opposition gave Ramsay not a save to make. Soon Worthing were deservedly in front. Reynolds flicked the ball on for Amoo, who drove onto the ball took it past the keeper who clipped him in the area. Penalty Worthing, which was cooly dispatched by Reynolds.
Worthing again continued to press and work well as a side, which was very pleasing to see after the performance last week. At times however football can be a cruel mistress and this was to happen to Worthing. The ball was cleared defensively to around 40 yards out, the IoW full back ran onto the ball and hit a speculative volley, which flew over the unfortunate Ramsey. 2-2.
Worthing continued to press and look for a deserved winner, but after many corners and half chances, but it wasn’t to be and the points were shared.
Performance Coach Dave Hall was reflective in his summary “we were looking for a reaction from last week and for me we got this. Some of the football at times was extremely good for a very young first year side. For me the programme is about the players taking things on board and looking to develop their game intelligence. Their equaliser was a pure freak goal, but the squad have got to continue to learn in terms of being clinical when on top, which we were for 75% of the game. Also positive feedback from the opposition coach is nice, when we are one of the best teams they have played. So I’m sure the squad will take this forward into the two games next week with results matching the performances.”