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Late goals are hampering City’s progress
10:30am Wednesday 24th October 2012 in Sport
WORCESTER City’s exit from the FA Cup has once again thrown the spotlight on their Achilles heel — conceding late goals.
It has cost City on several occasions already this season and none more so than against Bromley last Saturday.
Richard Pacquette’s 90th-minute strike at Hayes Lane saw a potentially lucrative replay at a packed St George’s Lane snatched away and £12,500 in prize money should Worcester have gone on to win it.
And, following the draw for the first round proper, it will be the Kent side who will travel to League Two high-fliers Fleetwood Town next month.
About the only consolation Carl Heeley’s team can take is that at least Bromley weren’t handed a pay-day at Coventry City or Sheffield United.
There was no Chelsea moment here — when Huddersfield were drawn at Stamford Bridge after sneaking past Worcester in 2005, albeit later in the competition. But it does mean that the Weston-super-Mare replay was the last FA Cup game ever to be played at the Lane.
However, returning to the original point, perhaps the cost of that late goal at Bromley will go some way to improving City’s performances towards the end of league games.
It is important we don’t forget that they are still sixth in Blue Square Bet North and are well placed to enjoy a fine season. Yet they know it could be much better but for the late goals.
Against Bradford Park Avenue, Oxford City and Harrogate Town, Heeley’s men have thrown away winning positions at the death and ended up with draws.
It was a similar story against Stalybridge Celtic earlier this month, only this time the last-gasp strike condemned Worcester to defeat on home soil after they had been in control.
The ability to take and then hold on to leads is often what separates good teams from the others and City have been unable to do that too frequently this season.
Defensively, they seem solid enough, and have kept six clean sheets this term, yet have come unstuck in the closing stages when they have had no time to respond.
They’re not too shabby at the other end of the pitch either, with last Saturday only the third time this season City have failed to score in a match.
Maybe, as was the case against Stalybridge, they aren’t converting enough of their chances and therefore heap unneeded pressure on themselves as games progress.
Whatever the cause, it is a habit City know they have to kick, especially with two crucial league matches coming up in the space of a little over 48 hours.
A trip to Boston United this Saturday, without the suspended Rob Elvins, Charlie Reece and Lee Ayres, is followed swiftly by the visit of league leaders Brackley to the Lane on Monday night.
It is the perfect opportunity to forget about the FA Cup.