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Gritty City end their home form hoodoo
8:00am Monday 23rd December 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WHEN Worcester City thrashed Workington 4-0 on September 21 for their first Skrill North home win of the season, little did anyone know it would be another three months before their next.
Although they have only played four times at Aggborough in the league since then, due to a variety of cup commitments, it is still a sobering statistic.
It’s one that’s compounded when you consider that date against the Cumbrians was also the last time they scored a league goal at home as well.
So, the relief was there for all to see following the hard-fought triumph over Harrogate Town at the weekend.
Ebby Nelson-Addy’s first goal of the campaign gave the Blue and Whites just their third victory in the league all season.
It could turn out to be a significant one as it lifted Carl Heeley’s side out of the bottom three, on goal difference from rivals Gloucester but with a game in hand.
Coming also at the start of a hectic Christmas schedule that from Boxing Day will see them play another three times in under a week, it was just the boost they needed.
Worcester came into the match having been dumped out of the FA Trophy by Aldershot Town and serving up an abject offering in losing to Oxford City at Aggborough two weeks ago.
By beating one of the league’s form sides — Harrogate arrived in Worcestershire on the back of three straight wins — City proved it is far too early to write them off in the battle against relegation.
Saturday’s showing wasn’t the prettiest but it was gritty and determined, all characteristics that they have exhibited in spades this season.
After Nelson-Addy fired them into a 12th-minute lead with a right-footed arrow-like shot across keeper Craig MacGillivray from the edge of the box, they had few other clear-cut chances to add to their tally.
But they had a lead to defend and defend it they did with gusto as Harrogate pushed them deeper in the closing stages.
Once again, keeper Jose Veiga, City’s player-of-the- season to date, played his part, not least with a fine block to thwart sub Anton Brown with just minutes left on the clock.
But in front of him he had a group of players that were determined to hang on to their lead for all they were worth.
They might have been without skipper Graham Hutchison but centre-half pairing Richard Munday and Shabir Khan led the way in repelling the Yorkshiremen, while Matt Regan was accomplished in place of the dropped Tyler Weir at left-back.
By the end, they had their 13th clean sheet of the campaign and celebrated it as though it was their first.
Hopefully, Worcester won’t have to wait another three months for another success at Aggborough.
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