Match report by George Bryant-Nichols
U18 Whitehawk 1 Worthing 4
On Monday 22nd of November, Whitehawk’s U18 side welcomed high-flying Worthing to the Terrapura, looking to disrupt their near perfect record in the league thus far.
Worthing applied pressure early on in proceedings, almost finding the back of the net inside three minutes, with Sam Lomas denying the Worthing attacker courtesy of a brilliant close-range save.
Worthing made their league position clear in their confident, flowing, fast paced attacking football, albeit with the Young Hawks looking solid in defence – the back five bravely holding its line to catch the darting attackers offside on multiple occasions.
Sonny Weber produced Whitehawk’s first chance of the night, with Dan Gibson punching a cross away only into his path – however; Weber’s looping headed effort was cleared off the line to save Worthing’s blushes. 18 minutes gone, with no inroads into the scoreline from either side.
Worthing broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, with Finlay Chadwick trying a shot from quite a distance, that crept past Sam Lomas at his left hand post. The man in blue wheeled away in celebration, to be congratulated by his Worthing teammates. Whitehawk 0, Worthing 1.
Just seven minutes passed before Worthing doubled their advantage, again from quite a distance, with skipper Joseph Alman the scorer this time – drilling the ball into the bottom left corner with an exquisite drive from well outside the 18 yard box. Worthing on top at this point, Whitehawk 0, Worthing 2.
Worthing remained dominant for the remainder of the first half, as they had been since Whitehawk’s concession of the first goal – at one point having the ball in the back of the net only to be ruled out for offside, and an effort from Bradley Donaghan was sent narrowly over the crossbar. Worthing entered the break with a 2-0 advantage, tails up, while Whitehawk I’m sure looked to mount a comeback attempt during the second period.
A strong team talk almost told for Whitehawk, as it must have been a miracle for Worthing that Alex Maclean’s 50th minute effort rebounded off the post instead of causing the back of the net to ripple – the very thing that haunts or greatly excites all football supporters at some point or another. Football being a game of fine margins, it remained Whitehawk 0, Worthing 2 after 50 minutes played.
Worthing almost had their own moment of magic, with a stunning overhead kick effort bruising the crossbar – with such power and execution, if it had ended up on target it would have taken some saving from Sam Lomas in the Whitehawk goal. Top class from Alfie Hall there to produce such an acrobatic display.
Callum Esnouf, who had an impressive debut leading the line in the absence of the suspended Toby Reeder was then denied 1 on 1 as he tried to lob Gibson, after a delightful through ball by Matt Godfrey.
As if two long range goals weren’t enough for one day, Worthing made it a hat trick with 68 minutes played, Alex Pearce on target from range for the visitors with a left footed effort across the keeper. Haven’t seen a scrappy goal on the night, three of the best from Worthing.
Someone must have told the two teams that they weren’t allowed to score inside the box, as with 80 minutes played Godfrey unfurled a magnificent strike from outside the area, picking out the top left corner of the goal, spectacular. A worthy consolation goal for the young Hawks on a night facing an opposition arguably a cut above in terms of scoreline at least.
The evening’s proceedings wasn’t over without a fourth goal for Worthing in the 86th minute, with Sam Lomas spilling another optimistic long range strike, which was gobbled up by Dolaghan at point blank range, and bundled over the line.
Full time, Whitehawk 1-4 Worthing – a good game of football to see, with the Young Hawks playing well as a team despite the 4-1 defeat. Whitehawk’s U18s head to Hastings United next time out to take on opponents 6 points better off than them in the table. They will look to close the gap with victory in that one. Worthing cement their place at the top of the table after victory at the Terrapura.