Report: First Class Male

Harrison Male’s second-half penalty save helped Worthing to maintain their five point lead at the top of the table.

Mens Full Time
2
Worthing
  • Starkey (29')
  • Pearce (45')
1
Potters Bar
  • Sterling (52')
Isthmian Premier Division Saturday 6th November, 2021

Following on from Tuesday’s win at Wingate & Finchley, Joel Colbran and Luca Cocoracchio returned to the side as Aarran Racine (unavailable) and Jasper Pattenden (substitute) missed out.

In an opening forty-five minutes where the hosts were on top, only eight had elapsed when Danny Barker swung a long ball out to Ollie Pearce on the right. He duly drifted inside before unleashing a low shot from just outside the ‘d’ that lacked the power to trouble October’s Golden Gloves winner Hafed Al Droubi.

Shortly afterwards, Reece Myles-Meekums was on the end of a short corner routine, between taker Jesse Starkey and Dajon Golding on the left, with Starkey’s short pass allowing him to fire in an equally low effort on the angle but this time marginally the wrong side of the near post.

Potters Bar’s number one was a busy man and had to be alert once again to prevent a Pearce toe poke creeping in at his left-hand upright, at the expense of a flag-kick, after Red’s top scorer had juggled and controlled Cam Tutt’s deep cross enough to be able to take aim.

Midway through the opening period, Golding and Colbran led a counter-attack, with the latter’s powerfully-struck attempt beaten away by Al Droubi for another corner.

Finally, the deadlock was broken thanks to more incisive breakaway play. Myles-Meekums surged clear down the right wing, played a neat one-two with Pearce then saw his driven delivery swept home by the on time Starkey.

Little had been seen of the visitor’s going forward, until more than half-an-hour into the game.

Kaziah Sterling showed some neat footwork to create room for a shot on the edge of the box that didn’t miss the crossbar by much.

However, normal service resumed a few minutes later as the board went up for stoppages.

Captain Barker nicked possession off Samson Esan, near the centre circle, releasing Myles-Meekums who broke away and slipped in Pearce who calmly beat Al Droubi with a clever chip to double the advantage.

The second forty-five had barely got underway when half-time sub Calvin Dickson sent in a low cross from the right, only for Will Seager to clip Corey Parchment from behind as the pair raced into the penalty area to get to it first.

Skipper Nathan Jordan-Livings stepped up but was denied by Male’s fine save as he dived to his right to keep the spot-kick out.

Despite missing a golden opportunity to get back in the contest, Town were undeterred. Picking up the ball a short distance inside the home half, Samson Esan embarked on a left flank run that saw him hold off the close attentions of Pattenden, come further inside and tee-up teammate Sterling for a fine finish with the outside of his right boot, that nestled in the bottom corner.

Sterling might have made it all-square moments later, although he couldn’t quite get on the end of Dickson’s right-sided delivery.

Worthing responded through Starkey getting the better of Aryanaj Tajbakhsh, then turning and supplying Golding to his right whose fearsome effort was parried by Al Droubi for a flag-kick the other side.

It almost became a classic case of an old player coming back to haunt his former club inside the final quarter of the afternoon, only for Alfie Young’s shot just inside the six yard box to be deflected over the top by ex-colleague Colbran. Sterling nearly adding an assist to his name in the process.

Less than ten remained on the clock when a long pass from right-back by the recalled Cocoracchio was flicked on by the recently introduced Budd, allowing Myles-Meekums to surge clear and eventually draw a near-post save off the right boot of Al Droubi.

Time continued to tick by but not before Club Captain Budd had come agonisingly close to a rare, yet priceless goal.

A Starkey cross was headed away by Tajbakhsh, though only as far as Colbran who spotted Buddy time his run into the danger zone to perfection, only for him to not quite get hold of his effort as he would have liked and Al Droubi gathered safely.

The final throes of action resulted in two Town replacements combing to almost devastating effect, with Dickson crossing left-footed on this occasion but Ben Ward-Cochrane was just unable to direct his header on target.

Then, finally it needed an immaculately-timed tackle by yet another sub Amine Sassi to prevent Myles-Meekums from wrapping things up at the end.