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A novelty of a mid-week game against Trowbridge Wanderers offered us a good warm up before cup final on Saturday and the chance to guarantee at least second in the league and even put us top for a while.
It has rained heavily over the past few nights and Ade Cannon did a great job in getting the pitch prepared, cut and lined to enable the match to take place. Apart from from water in goal and some damage from moles, the pitch was in fairly good condition.
The match itself was always going to be a tight event, both sides looking to play good football. Trowbridge made the better start, pushing passes through the space between centre and full backs. Simon Gale was fantastic all night in catching their forwards who did manage to break the offside trap – and when he didn’t, Charlie did.
Not many shots at goal during the first half, but Worton did make the breakthrough after 26 minutes when Charlie Strickland let rip from 25 yards to the underside of the bar and into the goal behind the keeper. At last the goal drought since Feb 25th was over!!!
The second half continued in much the same vein, both sides making chances. Franky had a chance to make it 2-0 when he shot across goal but the keeper made an outstanding save and got the ball around the post to much adulation by all supporters and players.
At the other end, James had a couple of fairly routine (“I had it covered Dad”) saves and one really good save low to left to turn shot around the post – again the save well congratulated by the crowd.
With few minutes to go, Trowbridge pushed everything forward in search of an equaliser but the defence held firm to deliver the victory and that guaranteed second place with us going top of the league having played one more match that Melksham.
Well done to all the boys who all played really well in a difficult game, with a special mention to Alex and James F for their hard work when they came on the pitch.
Next up: Cup Final vs Melksham Utd on Saturday.
Worton welcomed Melksham Utd to Fortress Northbrook seeking to gain victory against a team who narrowly defeated us in the last league match a few weeks ago.
The game started with both sides looking for openings in each others defences but both stayed resolute. Worton did make a breakthrough in 14 minutes when a corner taken by Jamo was met with a diving header by Adam Edwards low into the corner of the goal.
Just before half time, Worton extended the lead. Jamo performing some Gazza-esque skills (against some team I have forgotten the whole event some 16 years ago) when he flicked the ball over the right back before crossing into the middle of the goal for Franky (yes Franky) to rise like the proverbial gracious swam and head down into the ground and past the keeper.
The second half continued in much the same light, Worton creating chances withour converting and preventing Melksham from having any time on the ball and stopping any chances being made.
Worton sealed the points on 45 minutes when another Jamo corner was crossed into the middle of the goal, the keeper cleared the ball to around the penalty spot where Adam Edwards switched from right foot to left foot, before smacking low into the goal.
Another great team performance, everyone playing their part including the players who came in and out the game.
Next up – Wednesday vs Trowbridge Wanderers.
The latest match took us to the League leaders Melksham Utd. Whilst the final result was not in our favour, the performance by the squad was excellent and Melksham will know that they have been in a game.
With Harry already ruled out with injury, the day started badly with a call from Jake advising of a hamstring injury, Jack Churches went sick at half-time and Joe took a nasty head knock during the second half. The combination of these events meant several enforced changes to the management team plans. It did however allow us to try out different things with players and formation.
The game itself started badly with Melksham taking lead after 7 minutes, a ball was played into the middle and no tackle or closing down was done and the Melksham striker was able to shoot low into the corner.
Worton did hit back after 8 minutes, a free kick on the left was floated into box by Charlie, a flick on by Jamo and Franky bravely getting in front of keeper to knock into the net. Half time 1-1.
Second half saw Charlie dropping to center back with Simon sweeping. Alfie-Miles Hobbs moved into centre midfield. After 35 minutes, Worton took the lead, cross from Jamo corner, headed out by defence to midle of penalty box and Alfie Miles-Hobbs smashed into goal.
The lead lasted but a few minutes, ball played up Melksham right and the player was not closed down and pick a free cross into the middle for striker to shoot past James in goal.
Jo Skinner then had to come off for a blow to the face that requied use of ice pack to keep swelling down. Alfie Brintons rest period lasted about 1 minute and he had to go back on!
Melksham took the lead after 42 minutes, once again a free player we not closed down on Melksham right and was able to come into the box and have free shot past keeper.
So 3-2 to Melksham in end, plenty of positives to take from game and who knows what might happen if we can stay free of illness and injury!
The first competitive football for 3 weeks was away at Trowbridge Wanderers. With players either still on holiday or coming back from holiday, the squad was going to be stretched, only able to name a 14 man squad for the match. Additionally, the team have been ‘rocked’ by the news that midfield stalwart Harry Davis would be out for at least 4 weeks due to a ‘slight tear of the patella ligament’ (boys look it up!)
The game started and you could see that players were still waking up to the fact that it was a match and with tackles not being made properly, Trowbridge were able to make chances that the defence did well to clean up. In 21 minutes however, with no-one putting in a tackle in the middle of the field, a ball through the right channel fell to unmarked player who was able to pull the ball back for the striker to shoot low past James Black in goal.
Worton created some chances through the wing play of Alfie Miles-Hobbs and Joseph Skinner and were unlucky in a couple of scrambles inside the penalty box when the ball did not break kindly. Josh Francis came close from just outside the 6 yard box but was unable to get it past the keeper.
Worton held on to the coat-tails of Trowbridge for large parts of the half and a great goal-line clearance by Simon Gale maintained the current scoreline.
Halftime 1-0 to Trowbridge. The half-time talk was about the ability to close down Trowbridge and to put in proper tackles.
Second half saw the game kickoff and Worton started slowly again, too many players taking too long to settle in as the game sped past them. An inspired substitution brought Adam Edwards back into play and in 36 minutes (almost 1st touch) Adam volleyed the ball over the keeper from 20 yards to level the scores. Trowbridge looked a little shocked at this time and Worton continued to pressurise and when Franky Holdsworth passed the ball along the 18 yard line to Jamo (yes you need a haircut!) Stobbart who dribbled past several defenders and shot low into the net – Worton in lead!
Within a couple of minutes though, Trowbridges first attack of the second half saw a long ball to the left wing and the player was able to control and shoot past James into the net 2-2.
Chances were now being created at both ends, keepers and defences mopping up the attacks as they happened. By now Worton were ensuring that Trowbridge did not get time on the ball and were all putting in some great tackles all over the pitch.
With 5 minutes of normal time to go and Worton won a corner which Jamo swung into the box where it broke to Franky who clinically dispatched the ball with his left foot into the net – Worton lead (again!).
Changes in defence during the second half involved James Francis and Luke Hatch coming on and both played really well and proved that they can be counted on when required. Solid tackles and ball winning by both were examples to others.
With time up (on MY watch), the referee continued to allow the game to play and the Worton defence and keeper stood firm and prevented any more chances from being converted – thus recording an excellent away victory against one of the best teams in the division. Well done to everyone in squad today – fantastic performance and result.
Man of the match poll attached – please record your views.
Well done to all supported the bag packing effort after the match – some good funds raised for the tour.
Early into the game, Chippenham town went 1-0 up. It came from a ball down the left side and then a low shot passed JB.
In the 3rd minute, Chippenham went 2-0 up with a ball down the left and the ball soared to an unmarked attacker in the middle of the penalty area free to put the ball into the back of the net.
After 11 minutes Worton went 3-0 down with a pass down the right and the skipper crossed it in. JB was unable to hold the ball as the pitch was very rough. The ball flew into the centre of the goal.
Once again, Chippenham attacked with a pass along the left but denied by James Francis and Simon.
Early in the second half, Chippenham attacked once again but Worton couldn’t afford to concede another goal. JB blocked a shot which bobbled on the crossbar several times and eventually went off for a corner. Later in the second half, Worton started to attack. Harry scored an excellent top corner shot on the 48 minute mark. Chippenham keeper didn’t stand a chance. The final whistle blew with the first loss in Division 1.
This was a hard won victory, which saw Worton playing into a really strong headwind in the first half, causing the ball to swirl and spin about, and make it extremely difficult for the boys to get the ball under control and pass it around. It also gave Westbury the momentum going forward but despite this the back four mopped up any balls over the top (particular mention to James Francis who had a solid game at right back) and JB was quick off his line to deal with any threats. The best chances fell to Worton and Lewis got a couple of decent shots at goal, Charlie had shot on the stretch and Brints was extremely unlucky with a well placed shot that was beating their ‘keeper that a defender managed to block, so nil – nil at half time, and having played against the wind we were happy with how things were going.
The wind then eased for the 2nd half, but the boys still found it hard going to get the ball down and pass it. Josh chased down their left back and put him under pressure to win a corner, that Charlie lofted in, it fell to Jo Skinner at the near post who calmly set himself and then smashed the ball home to get the winner in the 43rd minute.
Westbury didn’t really threaten our goal, although they did break through the back four a few times the boys covered for each other and dealt with it.
Not the best of performances but difficult conditions, we got the win and another clean sheet.
So with lots of airshots, miskicks, and boys waiting for the ball to come to them, these are the things we’ll focus on on training this week, a refresher on dealing with high balls, corner positioning and meeting the ball rather than waiting for it.