Worthing Utd 5-1 Loxwood
May 3, 2011 - Sussex County League, Division 2
Worthing United secured a superb win against Loxwood on Saturday after a storming second half display wrapped up 3 vital points for the home side. With the pitch much improved from last week but the middle still a bit heavy and bobbly, United were missing their influential skipper Joe Shelley with Charlie Oatway coming in to make his full debut in his place and Mitchell Hand replacing Sam Corkill in the starting 11. Paul Brown and Dave Herbert back from a week away and Seb Keet back after over a year out with knee ligament damage were added to the bench increasing the strength of the squad.
United started a little slowly as they tried to deal with the formation and personnel changes enforced upon them. Loxwood were looking good as they tried to pass their way through the United midfield and with the impressive pacy right midfielder and the class of Damon Aston up front, the United defence had to constantly be on their toes which to their credit they were managing to achieve even though at times they were a little overrun. United with their midfield and forwards not playing as well as they can were looking a little stunted and lacking in creativity but almost from their first attack they went a goal up as some fine work from the right from Nicholson saw a cross only parried away by the North Sussex sides keeper and Boutwood was on hand for his third in four games as he tapped in at the back post. United began to get to grips with the Loxwood movement and the midfield of Oatway, Meehan, Hand and Rayner were slowly understanding the formation requirements, however before they could get settled Loxwood equalised when a good deep cross from the right was headed in as the United defence were guilty of ball watching as the ball came in and he was allowed to sneak in unmarked for a well taken goal. United were now finding their feet and Boutwood and Nicholson who had looked a bit flat early on began to click and the second goal was a great example of hard work as Nicholson closed down the defence and won possession and stormed in on goal before slotting the ball past the helpless keeper for a great finish at a tight angle. Loxwood continued to work hard and caused a number of problems with their movement off the ball with the wide players and attacking midfielder playing some nice stuff without having the final killer ball or United defending well with a couple of last ditch tackles and with this great rearguard action they were able to go in at halftime a goal up.
The second half was one way traffic. With some corrections to the midfield and the United players already beginning to build up a head of steam just before the break, things just clicked and some of the football was a delight to behold as time and again the home side created chances with lovely interplay and sweeping moves. Oatway, Boutwood and Nicholson were linking up well and their movement was really causing their markers problems and it did not take long for United to score again as Oatway disarmed a Loxwood defender with good pressure from his team mates and had a simple side footed finish to put his team 3-1 up. United were rampant and scored again within five minutes as Stokes advanced forward down the right and with no one closing him down opted to shoot and slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner for an excellent team goal involving a number of players. Loxwood were really struggling to stay in the game now and with Rayner, Hand and Meehan finding feet and Oatway having a bigger impact on the match, United looked like a different side and for the next 15 minutes a number of chances were spurned with Boutwood having a great chance to increase his tally but opted to try the difficult option. The lively Dave Herbert was introduced with 20 minutes to go and his skills and quality only added to the away side’s woes. United now completely in control replaced Hand and Rayner for Paul Brown and Seb Keet and they continued where the former started and the passing and movement was great to see. Herbert back after a couple of weeks off looked like he had a point to prove and was providing some nice link up play with Boutwood and should have had a penalty after he was fouled when clean through but the ref inexplicably waived the protest away. He was not to be denied an impact on the game though when his work set Oatway through and with just the keeper to beat he showed great composure to calmly finish for his third in two games to complete a convincing win.
Manager Dom Di Paola “I was over the moon with the reaction after last week and we showed our potential second half when we played some of our best football of the season. First half the game was very even and Loxwood probably shaded it, they are a good side and should be higher in the league the way they play. I thought our back four were great dealing with their potent attack and Neil Francis especially did a great job against their dangerous right midfielder but they can all be really pleased with how they dealt with a tough task. I was massively impressed with our midfield once they worked out what we were asking them to do and I hope they keep that in mind as they showed how well they can make it work. Meehan, Rayner and Hand really turned it on second half and then Paul Brown and Seb Keet came on and did exactly the same. It was great to have Seb back after so long out, it’s like a new signing and I think he will be great for the run in. Oatway got stronger as the game went on and the lads are beginning to work out how he plays which can only be a good thing and Barney and Asa up front continued to play well together and it is a shame we didn’t have these two all season as I think we would have done a lot better. I was also very impressed with Dave Herbert who came on and played as well as we have seen him all season, this lad has so much potential but he needs to understand about all the other aspects about being a good player and today he showed those parts of his game which is great. I hope for more days like today!”
25 min - Barney Boutwood (7/10)
40 min - Asa Nicholson (7/10)
51 min - Charlie Oatway (7/10)
58 min - Joe Stokes (7/10)
84 min - Charlie Oatway (7/10)