Cheltenham Saracens 1 – 2 Worcester City X1
A welcome cool breeze greeted the City U21 reserves in their first game together at Petersfield Park, the home ground of the well established Hellenic Premier League side Cheltenham Saracens First Team, under the match programe heading Cheltenham Saracens v Worcester City X1
With the majority of the City X1 on their debut with the club, and only brought together as a team in recent weeks, City’s starting format was a simple 4 – 4 – 2, altering during the game to ensure all players of all positions got game time.
After a shaky first few minutes during which time Saracens were immediately on the offensive, the lads settled in and held good possession which led to an early goal for Barrie Healey 5 minutes in. The game balanced out and both teams battled for the ball with enthusiasm with end to end football keeping good possession on both sides, until just before half time when a Saracens player was brought down in the box. Keeper Charlie Weaver got a hand to it, but the ball managed to slip into the corner of the net. Half time score 1-1.
Having already had pre- season games the well tuned Saracens came out the stronger and more organised in the second half. Saracens had the better of possession and shots on goal, but the net eluded them, with the reserves working relentlessly to close them down and move the play away from their half, while keeper Charlie Weaver, City’s man of the match, pulled off some great saves. When City did break they looked threatening and in the dying minutes striker Artur Sawicki got on the end of a through ball, ran with the ball at speed with a defender at his heals towards the goal, then tidily placed the ball to the side of the keeper for the winner.
The lads all featured in the match programs which was a first for many of the squad and the team consisted of keeper Charlie Weaver (17), defenders Luke Wellham (17), Gareth Howells (17), Luke Suthard (u21), Ellis Turner (last season’s u18) and later Eddie Westbury (17). Midfielders Barrie Healey (last season’s u18), Kraig Harris (u21), Joshua Smith (u21), Rob Anderson (17) and later Yannick Gomes (u21), Wisdom Manchangani (last season’s u18), Jordan Murton (17) and Louie Robinson (last season’s u18), with strikers Artur Sawicki (u21) and Tyler Maxwell (last season’s u18).
It was acknowledged that the majority of the evolving reserves side was 18’s and under with only four U21’s, so on the whole the lads did well to get a result, though it was evident there is still plenty of work to do with the squad to firm up the side to meet the standard expected by the club, which the reserves coaches look forward to working on with the first team managements guidance.
Carl Healey and Matt Gardiner watched the game and gave the lads a welcome half time and post match talk, with pointers about bettering the player’s game as they work hard towards being a stronger more effective team.
Any interested players of high ability in their late teens up to 21 years old, please keep an eye out for training dates on the Worcester City FC website. Training starts Thursday 9th August at the University 3G 7 – 8pm, then on Wednesday’s 8.30 – 9.30pm at the end of August and throughout the rest of the season for u18’s and 21’s.
Contact Simon Wellham on 07778 003284 for further information if you intend to attend any session.