Worthing College Men’s ECFA XI were agonisingly close to picking up their first points of the National League season, however a Weston winner with 5 minutes to go were to undo all of the hard work and quality put into particularly a second half display.
Matt Boiling came back into the side along with Ruben Denyer-Schneider, both after their extensive Bostik Premier League commitments. Charlie Williamson, who has also broken into the Worthing first team started from the bench. After impressing the week earlier at FAB Academy, Darius Goldsmith came in for his full debut instead of the unavailable Ricky Aguiar.
The first half yet again showed the quality of the league standard with the London opposition being lively in possession with excellent movement and touches. An early chance struck the Worthing cross bar with Boiling calmly nodding back to keeper Luke Ramsay.
Worthing were not quite at the races, especially in the middle of the park, however after thinking about the opposition and their qualities the Worthing College side managed to grow into the game with winger Callum Chalmers especially giving the left back many problems in wide positions.
However as Worthing College were growing confident it was the visitors who took the lead. A cross from the bye line was unfortunately turned goalwards by Worthing College centre half Kai Dove. 0-1.
Forwards Jake Heryet, Luke Brodie and Chalmers began to keep a better defensive shape and the midfield of Callum Litterick, Jamie Frankling and Goldsmith began to get closer to their opponents and making life difficult. The belief was beginning to come with Worthing creating half chances, Brodie and Chalmers with the chances.
But just before half time Weston doubled their lead with the wind at their backs. The Weston striker had too much time to turn in the box and finish. 0-2.
This was a body blow to Worthing College, however with changes at half time and the wind at their backs the squad were put back out with the aim of getting back into this league game. Slight changes were made with Denyer-Schneider coming off with an injury. James Younger moved to left back and Charlie Williamson came on at right back. The changes seemed to provide fresh direction to the performance. Younger and Williamson were both keeping a positive shape and driving forward when in attack.
Midway through the second half Worthing College got back in the game when Litterick controlled and played in Heryet off the wing to finish calmly in the corner. 1-2. This gave Worthing College the lift they needed and they continued to press with Williamson delivering some dangerous crosses and the midfield starting to bite into tackles. The fully deserved equaliser came with 20 minutes to go. A well worked set piece corner was headed superbly by Boiling into the top corner. 2-2 and game on.
Worthing College fully deserved to be back in this game and wanted to press for the winner. The back four were keeping a good line and Weston weren’t creating anything of real threat. Changes were made with Jack Newhouse coming on for Goldsmith and Tobi Minter replacing the tireless Chalmers. Worthing College kept pressing and had the territory. Newhouse poked a ball goal wards, but was saved.
Then with 5 minutes to go the sucker punch. Worthing College were caught square at the back and a superb through ball was finished by the excellent Weston number 7. The last five minutes didn’t see any chances of note and with that another game where Worthing College came away second best results wise.
Performance Coach Dave Hall feels that first points will come sooner rather than later “today it was the old adage of a game of two halves. The players knew that they didn’t start well and this set the tone for the first half. At this level you can’t be that far off and expect to get anything out of the game. However fair play to the squad they took on board the points at half time and with the tactical changes we almost got something that we fully deserved. However again at this level if you switch off you will be punished. At the moment this is a steep learning curve for the players and there is definite development taking place, so the next step now is getting points on the board to link to the performances. We have played some top sides (which they all are at this level) and have played very well for two and a half games, so I’m confident it will come.”