Sunday, 27 November 2011

Worthing 1 v 1 Whitehawk

Saturday 26th November 2011
Ryman League Division 1 South
Woodside Road, Worthing
Admission: £8.00
Programme: £2.00
Attendance: 275
Match Rating: 3

With my earlier game at Ferring kicking off at 1.45, the opportunity presented itself to race to another ground to take in the second half there. And so I hurriedly walked back to Goring-by-Sea rail station and made the seven minute train journey to Worthing, from which Woodside Road is less than ten minutes' walk.

I last visited Woodside Road just nine months ago, and a description of the ground can be found here. On my last visit I was most impressed with the programme, however on this occasion I was left not quite so impressed. It certainly had some interesting articles to read and all of the essential stats and facts, although 16 of the 48 pages were advertising.

This derby match would be between two of the stronger teams in the division, with Worthing occupying the final play-off berth in fifth place, seven points behind Whitehawk in second place, although Worthing have played three games less than Whitehawk. Recent from has been reasonable for Worthing, winning three of their last four league games, and drawing their previous two games. Whitehawk have been in fantastic form, winning their last six games on the bounce.

I arrived at the ground during half time, and paid half price admission at £4.00. By all accounts I had not missed much during the first half, which was goalless and for the most part a midfield battle. That's how it continued into the second half, but then on 51minutes the home side took the lead when a free kick was not properly cleared and the ball was swung towards the far post and Steve Metcalf lost his marker and nipped in to head the ball home with the keeper waiting for the ball to land into his hands. Worthing then went on to dominate proceedings and looked far more the likely to score, with Whitehawk very disappointing and lacking in ideas considering their lofty leauge position and red-hot recent form, although they did have a couple of half chances. Just as it looked like Worthing would claim the three points with the match entering added on time at the end of the game, Whitehawk were awarded a corner, which was well delivered and the Worthing keeper Alan Mansfield could only push out, and Sami El-Abd powerfully headed home through a crowd of players. There was no time for either team to get the winner and so it was a point apiece which the visitors will obviously be far the happier with.

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