The Worthing College Men’s Football Academy ECFA XI begun the first game of a home double header with an ECFA National League game against local rivals Portsmouth College.
Both Fintan Walsh and Matt Boiling were unavailable due to international call ups and were replaced by the returning Kai Dove and Callum Litterick.
Worthing College were looking to gain revenge after their visitors won the spoils 2-0 in November. The game started fairly even with both sides looking to play effective football. The battle in midfield was intense with the excellent Portsmouth number 8 looking to dictate the play at every opportunity.
However it was Worthing College who created the first opportunity with striker Luke Brodie testing the Portsmouth keeper early on. Portsmouth replied almost instantly, but Worthing College keeper Luke Ramsay made an excellent leg save from the Portsmouth number 10.
Worthing College were looking dangerous from free kicks both in deep and advanced positions. Charlie Williamson, Ricky Aguiar and Jack Newhouse were delivering some quality into the Portsmouth box. It was Aguiar that created the opening goal. A dangerous whipped free kick hit the post and came back to Brodie, who finished cooly into the far corner. 1-0 Worthing College.
This was always going to be a tight game and Portsmouth College were creating their own chances, however the centre half pairing of Dove and Litterick put their bodies on the line with some outstanding blocks.
Worthing College remained ahead until half time and the focus was to be a little bit better in the centre of the park with regards to transition and out of possession to frustrate their local rivals.
The second half begun in a scappy way, but the back four of James Younger, Williamson, Dove and Litterick were keeping Portsmouth at bay with Ramsay being confident in his communication and handling when required.
Worthing College took on board the advice from the coaching staff and took a hold of midfield. Harrison Mott, who had an excellent first half was replaced by Darius Goldsmith and he stepped up the midfield tempo to combine nicely with skipper Jamie Frankling and Aguiar.
As this was a tight affair the next goal was crucial and Worthing College got it. A great move involving Aguiar and Williamson freed Newhouse to play a superb reverse pass into Lewis Broughton, who slid the ball in at the front post. 2-0 Worthing College. A fantastic goal.
However this seemed to breathe more life into Portsmouth College with a flurry of set pieces, but again a huge performance from the back four were keeping them at bay.
With time running out Portsmouth did get on the scoresheet, however it was an unfortunate own goal for the excellent Kai Dove, who was stretching to make another clearance. 2-1.
There was only 2 minutes left but Worthing College provided the ideal sucker punch to make the game safe. Goldsmith freed Brodie who slotted the ball home to make it 17 goals in 16 games for the Worthing College marksman. 3-1 Worthing College.
Worthing College Performance Coach praised the sides performance “after the outstanding Hartpury result I was potentially expecting a drop in performance levels, however this inspirational group of players won the game playing effective football. They looked to come up with solutions to any challenges that they had out there and this is great testament to how far they have come in their development. Their game intelligence has come on leaps and bounds and we are looking forward to seeing the players continue to improve. Portsmouth College are a well respected side at this level and this result shows that Worthing College are competing at the top level week in week out.”