The Worthing College Men’s Football Performance programme had a double success this week with both sides being successful in their first league matches.
The 1st XI had 7 players making their ECFA National League debuts against an established side at this level in the form of Stanmore College. Worthing were obviously buoyed from their previous ESFA Cup win at Portsmouth College, but were prepared for a test at their home ground, Arundel FC.
The match started evenly with both sides looking nervous as possession was squandered far too easily. However it was Worthing that took the initiative and began to play effective football, moving the ball wide to danger men Josh Marshall and Toko Moyo, who time and time again beat their full backs to cross, only for Stanmore defenders to meet the ball first rather than a Worthing man. At this level concentration is a must and Worthing keeper James Binfield had to be on top form to tip over a header after a Stanmore corner. This escape seemed to spur Worthing on and it created a fantastic passage of play and from it Worthing took the lead. Jazz Gilbertson took hold of the ball in midfield, and shared passes with skipper Lewis Jenkins and Moyo, with the latter crossing for striker Tyrone Madhani, who swiveled and struck the ball cleanly past the Stanmore stopper. That’s now three in two games for Madhani.
At the half the focus was to keep the concentration levels up to ensure the first three points of the season. However Worthing’s opponents had other ideas and began to step up a gear or two, which was going to test the resolve of Worthing’s defensive qualities. With ten minutes gone Worthing’s worst fears were realised, when Stanmore drew level. Shaun Cook’s slip allowed his man to cross the ball, which was finished by the Stanmore number 9. To add to Worthing’s woes Binfield had to leave the field of play after dislocating his finger after trying to keep the previous attempt out. He was replaced by another debutant, Matt Neocleous. Coach Dave Hall also made a chance up front with Madhani being replaced by another making his debut, James Fergany.
Despite this setback Worthing pulled themselves together and began to get their rhythm back, which led to chances with Fergany being the catalyst, his direct running style was putting the Stanmore defence on the back foot and he was involved in what ended up being the winning goal. His run into the box and shot was blocked, but this fell to Marshall, who drilled the ball across the box for the lively Jenkins to fire into the roof of the net from 6 yards. This settled Worthing and they should have ended up winning by more, the most clear cut chance falling to Marshall, but his shot hit the post when it was probably easier to score.
Coach Dave Hall was extremely pleased with the first league outing “Stanmore are proven at this level and the lads had to really dig in, especially after starting the second half slowly. Credit should be given to the whole side and its quite exciting that there is potential for development in their games, so hopefully even better performances to come. However they can’t forget all the hard work that is required to ensure this level of performance is attained.”
The 2nd XI took on Portsmouth College in their BCS Performance league opener at East Preston FC. Portsmouth were the 1st XI opponents in the ESFA Cup the previous week. Worthing were dominant throughout and gelled extremely quickly and should have won by more than the final scoreline of 1-0 suggested. However the winning goal was one that could have graced any stage. The returning Hayden Hunter thundered home a volley after a cross from the opposite wing. Coach Danny Cullip was “extremely pleased with the players attitude and performance levels, which will hopefully be a positive sign of things to come.”
The Women’s Football Performance Programme were in BCS Elite League action at Wick FC. They took on West Herts College and in a game where Worthing started slowly, which led to them being a goal down, scored by West Herts dangerous number 10, who is on Arsenal’s books. However Worthing got themselves together and work extremely hard to get back into the game with Ashleigh Kirby getting the equaliser. Unfortunately for Worthing time ran out and they had to settle for a point in their league opener. Stand in coach for the day Tina Price said that “the slow start cost the team dearly, but singled out Izzy Burt as her player of the match.”
The Rugby Performance Programme took two sides over to the Hove RFC’s Colleges’ 10’s Competition and both teams looked to put into the practice the technical skills that have been developed during pre season. Both sides set their stall out and performed admirably with both team’s finishing runners up in their respective competitions. The 1st team lost out to a strong and physical Sussex Downs and the 2nd team ended up finishing second to BHASVIC’s 1st team. Coach Ben Coulson was happy with the afternoon’s work “The boys have put in lots of effort today and it shows that some of the group have come a long way in a short space of time. This tournament has shown the players what is required to be successful this season in terms of performance and development and I’m looking forward to the start of the XV fixtures, both at BCS Elite and Sussex level.”
Onwards & Upwards,