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Heeley points to missed opportunities in fiery derby clash
11:17am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
MANAGER Carl Heeley was keen to focus on the football rather than the scenes that marred Worcester City’s derby clash against Gloucester City.
City left-back Shabir Khan and Tigers skipper Matt Coupe were both shown red cards following an off-the-ball incident at Whaddon Road before players and coaches from both sides waded in.
Prior to that, a Graham Hutchison own goal and Scott Wilson’s strike had put the hosts ahead before George Williams pulled on back for Worcester.
The visitors also had chances to snatch a point, including Aaron Williams hitting the post late on in the Skrill North encounter.
Heeley said: “I’m not going to talk about what’s happened down the tunnel but it’s an emotive game, two teams want to win and the least you expect is players to be honest and play the game.
“I am more focused on the result and not getting what we probably deserved.”
He continued: “We got nicked 2-1 but we should have been ahead after 20 seconds and we hit the post in the last 20 minutes. We bombarded their goal but it wouldn’t drop for us and without question I think we deserved something out of that.”
The City boss felt his side’s defending could have been better for Gloucester’s first goal and also thought the second was avoidable.
He explained: “The first goal was disappointing. I think Shab should have done a little bit better because their lad got in, whipped a good ball across and unfortunately Hutch put through his own goal.
“I felt a minute or so before we had an opportunity to win a tackle on the edge of our box and we didn’t do it and we never really regained any good possession after that. Those things punished us.
“It was a good move for their second but I’d question why Sarg (Matt Sargeant) came out, I thought that was the wrong decision. Their player still had a lot of work to do if Matt stayed at home but he made it a bit easy for him. It’s all part of the learning curve.”
However, George Williams’ header, as well as his all-round performance, earned praise from Heeley.
The Worcester manager said: “It was a good ball in by Luke (Hubbins) and it was a cracking header from George. I thought he was our best player, he worked tirelessly and has had a good solid start at the club.”
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