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Aldershot Town 4 Worcester City 1
7:00pm Sunday 15th December 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
IT’S a football cliche but Worcester City really can now concentrate on the league and their battle for survival.
Following the FA Trophy defeat at Aldershot Town, the Blue and Whites’ sole focus is to avoid the drop in Skrill North.
While the competition has provided a welcome break from the league, as well as some vital funds to go with the money generated by the FA Cup, ensuring City remain at step two of the non-league ladder is priority number one.
They are currently four points from safety but have a game in hand on rivals Gloucester City as the busy Christmas period approaches.
It will need a determined effort from Carl Heeley’s side and, if last Saturday is anything to go by, they have the required character in the squad.
They were playing against a former Football League team from the division above on their own patch and were in the game for long periods.
When they trailed, it would have been easy for heads to have dropped but the players kept going even when their cause looked lost.
Traits they have shown plenty of times this season and ones they will need again over the coming months.
But while their competitive nature is not up for debate, questions remain over whether they have the ability in the long run.
They have played well at times this season but are struggling because they have punctuated the campaign with below par performances. Saturday was somewhere in between.
Ethan Moore gave them the lead with a fine finish off the far post following Danny Glover’s neat pass.
It was the striker’s eighth goal of the campaign and arguably his best given that he held off the clutches of two defenders to fire home.
Yet the goal aside, City had few other chances to score despite seeing plenty of the ball.
They forced 13 corners, the majority in the second-half, but Shots keeper Jonny Henly didn’t have too much to worry about.
Such statistics do little to shed the tag of being their division’s lowest scorers.
They have often had a sound defence to fall back on but, as against Oxford City, they were fragile and were undone by a long ball over the top for the equaliser, calmly converted by Aiden O’Brien.
However, it took a piece of individual brilliance from Manny Oyeleke to put Aldershot ahead at the break.
He showed fine balance and skill to skip past several challenges before firing past Jose Veiga.
But the third was forced over the line by Brett Williams when the defence failed to clear and the same player grabbed a late fourth while Worcester were chasing the game.
Veiga also produced a string of fine saves, including one to scramble the ball off the line to prevent sub Richard Munday from scoring at the wrong end.
Worcester’s keeper will be a key player in the scrap for points in the games ahead.
Which is what it will be, a scrap, and one from which there are no distractions now.
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