Its been quite a season for the Worthing College Men’s Football. Again the dedication of players not only to their sporting performances, but also in the classroom has led to another season of success.
The month of April and May saw no fewer than 4 cup finals plus a national finals day across all academy sports to again show that the Worthing College Academy of Sport is firmly placed as one of the most respected in the South and beyond.
After watching the Women’s Football Programme secure a 10th County Cup success in a row after defeating Collyers of Horsham 12-0. The Men’s Football Academy knew that they needed to perform to the best of their abilities to overcome a strong Steyning side on a windy May evening at Culver Road, Lancing.
Performance Coach Dave Hall had many headaches in terms of team selection and this was showed by the strength of the bench, with England Colleges player Fintan Walsh, Lewis Broughton, Curtis Griffin and Nick Oxley only making the bench.
The game started in a scrappy way with Worthing giving up possession too often and Steyning spoiling and breaking up play at every opportunity. The midfield of Liam Reynolds, Charlie Williamson and Jack Newhouse were being closed down and therefore making it hard to be expansive in their passing and tempo of the game.
The front three of James Thurgar, Luke Brodie and Jake Heryet, were looking to stretch the Steyning defence, but were lacking a service fitting of their movement. The back four of Elliot Dollner, Marshall Ball, Matt Boiling and Ruben Denyer-Schneider were keeping an excellent shape and thwarting any attack that Steyning threw at them.
Despite their disjointed performance Worthing did take the lead in front of the passionate Steyning fan base. Newhouse broke a challenge and found Thurgar who trickery beat the Steyning full back and crossed into the path of Brodie, who got their before the Steyning keeper. 1-0 Worthing.
This should have settled Worthing, but it did the opposite. Steyning grew into the game and looked to create their own chances, but when called upon Worthing keeper Luke Ramsey stood up to the challenge.
At the break the focus was to be more brave in possession and allow Steyning to come out to press and therefore the space would be in behind for Worthing to dictate the play. Worthing started in this fashion with Matt Boiling looking to control the tempo from the back.
Worthing looked to dominate territory, but they came up against an inspired Steyning goalkeeper, who made save after save and whilst the game was finely poised Steyning could have equalised, but again Ramsey was up to the task.
The introduction of Nick Oxley gave fresh impetus to the Worthing attack and his pace got in behind Steyning straight away, but just missed out on a final pass to the advancing Brodie.
As the game moved towards its end the Worthing defence were excellent in their discipline and shape, which allowed Worthing to lift the SSFA 1st XI County Cup for the second year in a row.
Performance Coach Dave Hall reflected on another positive season “this year has seen some more excellent individual and team successes; from Fintan Walsh, Luke Brodie and Charlie Williamson representing England Colleges’, numerous Ryman Premier debuts, 2nd place in the ECFA National League and this Cup success has shown the consistency of performance throughout the season. Credit is due to every player, who has done the extras and therefore improved as players and people. We are looking forward to next season and beyond as this has been another talented group of players. A real joy to work with.”