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Bad day at the office for Worcester City
7:07pm Sunday 6th October 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
IF Worcester City played like this every week, they would be relegated.
Thankfully, they don’t and Saturday’s Stockport drubbing, which is one to file under matches to forget, was the exception to the rule this season.
While no doubt concerning that a team who have looked so promising can produce the polar opposite and get completely outplayed, this is no time for knee-jerk reactions.
Teams have off-days and if Worcester beat Rugby Town in the FA Cup this weekend, they will hopefully once again have a spring in their step.
But it is worth pointing out City often struggle when faced with larger crowds and, more pertinently, larger stadia.
There were more than 2,300 people inside Edgeley Park but, with a capacity of nearly 11,000, it comfortably dwarves anything Worcester are used to.
That seemed to have an effect on the players, as was the case last March when they were thrashed 5-0 by Halifax at the Shay, an even bigger relic of the Football League.
Despite the pre-match rhetoric that players should thrive in such environments, Worcester’s experience is anything but.
In the first-half, lowly Stockport were as good as City were poor, dominating in every area and more than worthy of their three-goal cushion at the break.
It was so one-sided that manager Carl Heeley hauled off ineffectual loan winger Niall Thompson and defensive midfielder Richard Taundry to try and shake things up.
Ebby Nelson-Addy, who entered the fray along with Aaron Williams, was one of the better second-half performers but couldn’t prevent the inevitable outcome.
Ironically, Stockport’s fourth goal arrived when the visitors were enjoying their best spell but their afternoon was summed up when Danny Glover smashed an 87th-minute penalty wide of goal into the advertising boards.
Worcester were second best throughout. They were caught napping at a throw-in after just 10 minutes, allowing Iain Howard to pick out Kyle Jacobs to rifle home on the half-volley.
Richard Munday failed to deal with a long punt over the top from Robert Lofthouse 16 minutes later and almost brought Rhys Turner to the ground before the striker prodded the ball past Jose Veiga.
The third goal had a touch of fortune about it with Phil Jevons diverting Howard’s 20-yard drive into the net.
However, the scoreline only served to underline the hosts’ superiority.
Jevons also rode his luck for the fourth on the hour, the ball ricocheting back to him after a failed fancy flick before he superbly curled it beyond Veiga.
Tom Thorley drew the only save out of Ian Ormson for City in the second-half, while the Hatters might have added to their tally.
Glover’s spot-kick capped a dismal day.