A resilient performance from Worthing College was required as they took on arguably the best Men's Football College programme in England; the FAB Academy at the glorious Bisham Abbey National training facility.
The game started at a high tempo with FAB Academy dominating the early passages as Worthing College looked to stay disciplined in their shape and stretch the opposition back four. Mike Coupar was forced off with injury within the first 5 minutes, paving the way for Nick D'Arienzo to make his debut, slotting in at left back alongside James Younger, Joe Law and Callum Litterick.
With FAB Academy piling on the pressure, Taylor Seymour produced a handful of smart saves to keep the free flowing hosts at bay. However with 10 minutes on the clock, a quick move forward down the right flank from FAB's number 7 led to his cross being turned in by their on rushing centre forward. 1-0 FAB Academy.
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This didn’t change the mentality of the Worthing College side, who spurred a few golden chances after releasing the front 3 of Lewis Broughton, Jack Newhouse and Ricky Aguiar. Seymour was not only pivotal at keeping goals out, his great range of passing allowed Broughton to spin the centre half, however the opportunity to level the score evaded him. Again patience out of possession was key for Worthing College as they looked to upset the rhythm of the oppositions passing style. HT 1-0.
The second half started in much the same way as the first, however Worthing College executed the game plan with almost perfection stemming the flow of FAB Academy in the middle of midfield. This led to a Worthing College corner, where Litterick muscled past his marker to head into the net after fantastic delivery by Broughton. 1-1.
Again FAB Academy looked to get on the ball and tried to break down the resolute visitors, with skipper Jamie Frankling, Giuseppe Gaute-Lammi and Darius Goldsmith being well disciplined in their performances. Seymour this time with his foot somehow turned a golden chance for the home team round the post to keep the score level. However the man of the moment was winger Jack Newhouse, after some silky footwork to beat beat his man on the left hand side he shimmied into the box before driving the ball across the keeper and nestling in the bottom corner. 2-1 Worthing College.
With a tense 15 minutes ahead, Worthing had chance to put themselves further ahead, however Newhouse’s smart footwork led to his shot being smothered by the keeper. With legs and minds starting to tire, Harry Hubbard and Callum Jenkins came on to make impact, with their fresh legs giving Worthing College the impetus to stay resilient and take home all three points.
Men's Performance Programme Head Coach Dave Hall was overjoyed at the performance. He said: "Experiences like this are what the programme is all about. These players work hard week in week out to develop themselves not only as players but as people too, which will enhance their future career and football aspirations.
"This performance requires intelligence with intensity as well as discipline and trust. This has been a positive start to the season and we are looking forward to seeing how these players develop, both at the College and with their external senior clubs, which is something we are extremely proud of."
Performance Coach Jimmy Punter said: “Today the boys gave absolutely everything from top to bottom. The work rate and commitment to executing our game plan, which wasn’t the prettiest at times, was second to none.
"I was proud of how they approached the game today, however they have now set the standard for the season and need to take that momentum into next week's game”