Welcome back to yet another groundhopping blog, it feels like i’m going to football all the time at the moment! Can’t say i’m complaining though…
It also seems as if I have fallen into a pattern of only going to games by the seaside, Clacton last week, Portsmouth midweek and Worthing today, i’m really seeing what the seaside resorts in the South East have to offer (mainly in a footballing context).
So as I mentioned, we chose Worthing as our destination for Saturday afternoon, a ground which i’m actually baffled we had never ticked before, mainly because they have an all weather pitch and they are under an hour away from Surrey, but anyway on Saturday it was time to put that right.
We arrived in Worthing about an hour and a half before kick off, which meant we decided to park in the town center and make the 20 minute walk to the ground. After a pretty pleasant walk to the ground which included avoiding walking into a local fried chicken shop, we arrived ready for a good game in the Isthmian Premier Division.
While Worthing were of course going to be the main attraction of the day, we did also have an eye on Kazaiah Sterling, who was lining up for Worthing’s opposition for the day, Potters Bar Town. It is not often you watch a player with a Champions League appearance to his name in non-league football, and it is fair to say this got us pretty excited for kick off.
The game begun with the visitors trying to stamp their authority on the game in front of a packed house, and for the first five minutes you would not have thought Potters Bar were languishing in mid table, as they really looked energetic and dynamic up top.
However Worthing didn’t take long to start growing into the game as they began attacking with real creativity and intent, looking to win the ball back high up the field and then fly forward. After a couple of near misses, including a wonderful save from the visitors’ keeper, the Mackerels found their richly deserved lead through Jesse Starkey.
Starkey finished off a really slick move from the home side, as he finished from just outside the six yard box following a smart cut back from Reece Meekums, this was yet more evidence of the confidence Worthing were playing with, a lovely goal.
Their second was arguably even better, but for a different reason…
This time Ollie Pearce found himself one on one with the Potters Bar keeper, and decided to go for an audacious chip, that ended up in the back of the net. A sublime finish, and while Potters Bar had the former Champions League player, it was the home side delivering the goods worthy of the big eared trophy.
It was only at half time that I realised Worthing were sitting at the top of the table going into the fixture (sorry to my former lecturers at uni who would not have been impressed with this poor reading up on the fixture), but it came as no surprise as they looked like a really good side. In truth they completely bossed the first half.
This wasn’t going to be an easy Saturday afternoon for Worthing though as what must have been seconds into the second half, Potters Bar were given a lifeline back into the game as they were awarded a pretty clear penalty.
But just like Jerzey Dudek did in 2005, Harrison Male pulled off a wonderful save from the spot kick, and the home side kept their two goal lead in tact.
The visitors weren’t going to let this game slide though, as they continued to push forward, and in the 52nd minute it was our man Kazaiah Sterling who delivered on his pre match promise (this was mainly just us hyping him up). The winger was surrounded by Worthing defenders just outside the box, but he managed to fashion just enough space to unleash a precise finish into the corner, it was actually a really nice goal….again.
After this the game followed a fairly predictable pattern, Worthing sat back while Potters Bar knocked on the door for much of the remaining half an hour. There were a few opportunities for the home side too, but to be honest, clear cut chances were few and far between as the league leaders held strong for the last quarter of the 90.
And so the referee brought the game to an end, which gave the Mackerels a five point lead at the top of the Isthmian Premier Division, which i’m sure they deserve seeing their strong performance in all departments on Saturday.
I was really impressed with Woodside Road actually, the ground had a nice modern, but local feel to it (if this makes sense), and I would highly recommend a trip, even just for the pre match hot chocolate I had! There were over a thousand in attendance so it had a really lively atmosphere, and it would be nice to see them go up into the National League South year, so here’s hoping!
We made our way back up the A23, had a Nandos of course and then went our separate ways. A good day all in all, and we even got to see a Kazaiah Sterling goal…
That’s all for this week, i’ll see you all next week for hopefully another classic!
- GROUND: Woodside Road
- GAME: Worthing FC 2-1 Potters Bar Town
- COMPETITION: Isthmian Premier Division
- GROUND NUMBER: 95
- WOULD I GO BACK: Yes
- TICKET PRICE: £12
- DAYS SINCE LAST 0-0: 991