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City stand firm to grab point
10:10pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER City produced a dogged defensive display but also had the woodwork and heroics of Phil Trainer to thank in earning a precious point at the New Bucks Head.
The visitors put up a battling rearguard action, particularly in the second-half, as they stretched their unbeaten run in Skrill North to four games with a 0-0 draw.
But Carl Heeley’s side rode their luck more than once with Mike Grogan and Adam Farrell hitting the post and former Telford man Trainer clearing off the line amid frantic scenes.
It wasn’t a pretty contest in Shropshire – the first period was instantly forgettable – but City will be much the happier.
Having stood firm and enjoyed their fair share of luck, the Aggborough outfit also kept their second clean sheet on the bounce.
However, considering both teams scored four goals at the weekend – City thrashing Workington and Telford despatching Colwyn Bay – neither worked the keepers during a lacklustre first-half.
Telford enjoyed the better of the early possession and forced several set-pieces, the best of which saw Charlie Barnett’s corner bounce in a crowded six-yard box before being hacked clear.
It was the hosts who looked the more likely to break through but City defended stoutly and kept Liam Watson’s men at bay.
As at Aggborough last Saturday, Exodus Geohaghon and Shabir Khan stood tall to repel anything that landed in their territory.
Going forward, the visitors, orchestrated by Tom Thorley and the excellent Trainer, gradually began to impose themselves and stretch the Bucks before the break.
Daniel Nti was thwarted by a strong Simon Grand block and the marauding Danny Glover had an effort deflected wide by Neill Byrne.
An occasional long throw from Geohaghon had Telford on the back foot but keeper Ryan Young was seldom troubled.
The second period picked up the pace and Grogan rattled the bar with a thumping header from Andy Owens’ left wing cross moments after the restart.
Soon after, Farrell took advantage of a weak Khan header and slipped a shot under the advancing Veiga only for the ball to rebound agonisingly off the inside of the post.
City, who had Geohaghon, Nti and Glover booked, found themselves under increasing pressure and were restricted to scraps on the break.
Trainer then frustrated his former employers by sticking out a stray leg to superbly clear Farrell’s effort off the line after Veiga had parried sub Sean Cooke’s deflected drive.
Worcester further wound up the hosts by slowing play at every opportunity in an attempt to eat up time.
Williams might even have stolen the points for the visitors six minutes from time, driving straight at Young with City’s best chance of the game.
City: Veiga 8, Hutchison 8, Deeney 8, Thorley 8 Khan 7 (Munday 63, 6), Geohaghon 8, Glover 7, Trainer 9*, Nti 7, Moore 6 (Rooney 68, 6), A Williams 6. Subs not used: Smith, D Williams, Sargeant.
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