Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Worcester City facing dogfight after another defeat
7:03pm Sunday 3rd November 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
SIGNS that it is going to be a long winter for Worcester City are starting to emerge.
After 13 games, the Blue and Whites have won one league match – the 4-0 victory over Workington six weeks ago.
Only Oxford City are now below them in the Skrill North table and the home defeat against North Ferriby United, a largely wretched match played in atrocious conditions, was their sixth of the season.
Saturday’s crowd at Aggborough also dropped below 500 for only the second time this season.
Such statistics may not come as a surprise to many given the club’s well-documented plight but it doesn’t make the situation any less depressing for City and their supporters.
Now in November, the early-season optimism in the face of having no home and no money is slowly beginning to fade and the reality of the situation dawning.
Worcester were tipped to be among the relegation candidates and that’s exactly where they find themselves with well over a quarter of the campaign gone.
For the majority, their performances have defied that tag and they have given some of the division’s big hitters more than a run for their money, as well as higher-ranked Lincoln City in the FA Cup.
Yet, despite all that, they are still second-from-bottom and basement boys Oxford have a game in hand.
Defeat to North Ferriby only served to underline the extent of the challenge for manager Carl Heeley and his players.
Chiefly, that when injuries hit, as they will do over a nine-month season, City’s squad is stretched.
Daniel Nti missed the game with a hamstring injury and neither Danny Glover nor Niall Thompson were fit enough to start.
Tellingly, when both appeared after the break, the hosts enjoyed their best moments, even if one Thompson shot saved by Adam Nicklin was the sum of their efforts.
On-loan Reece Hales and Ethan Moore were paired up front but scoring goals continues to be a major issue, with this being the fourth league match in succession without one.
Defensively, Worcester have been decent but starting with three centre-halves in new signing Immanual Parry, Graham Hutchison and Sam Smith seemed to muddy the waters.
The trio continually got in each other’s way, with Parry inadvertently giving Hutchison a bloody nose in one collision, and the tactic was revised at half-time with the withdrawal of the former.
Ironically, Ryan Kendall’s well-taken 58th-minute winner came when the hosts had reverted to the tried-and-tested flat back four. Jamie Yates also struck the post.
It was an afternoon when not much went right for City and, conditions aside, it was an average display.
The one exception was keeper Jose Veiga, who was once again their best player and made one superb reflex save in the first-half to stop Anthony Wilson’s header.
They are going to need him in the months ahead.