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Would the real City please step forward
10:47am Monday 4th February 2013 in Blue Square Conference North Table & Results By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
AS the saying goes, a week is a long time in football.
Yet, in Worcester City’s case, it would appear that four days is long enough for fortunes to change.
Last Tuesday, Carl Heeley’s side produced one of their best performances of the season in despatching Droylsden 2-0 at the Butchers Arms.
On that occasion, they dominated possession, passed with accuracy, created chances and took them.
Fast forward to Saturday and it was almost the exact opposite.
Although the impressive Danny Glover stuck two goals away, they struggled to keep the ball, were often caught in possession and, consequently, conceded two as well.
Having gone from the archetypal away performance, we were back to the disjointed home display, admittedly interspersed with fleeting moments of quality.
It happened against Histon and it happened against Vauxhall Motors. Only this time it didn’t cost City three points.
So what changed in four days?
The same team that started in Greater Manchester lined up to face the Motormen.
Yet, for the majority of the first-half and most of the second, you wouldn’t have known.
The players didn’t look comfortable and, chiefly, Michael Taylor couldn’t reproduce the form the saw him terrorise Histon and Droylsden.
For the opening 20 minutes City hardly got out of their own half and when they did it was often because the ball had been hoofed forward in desperation.
During that period, Ashley Stott fired a cute volley beyond Glyn Thompson, while the visitors forced five corners.
But then came a moment of City class. Greg Mills, who later hobbled off injured, sent Glover scampering away down the middle and he coolly drew keeper Zac Jones before edging past him and rolling the ball in from an acute angle.
It was a similar story after the break. Unruffled by a dire penalty that was easily saved by Thompson, Stott restored his team’s advantage by pouncing on Stuart Whitehead’s short header back to his keeper.
Louis Barnes also had a free-kick tipped over by Thompson as the men from Ellesmere Port started the half stronger.
City eventually got their act together and had chances without capitalising, most notably a free-kick from Ellis Deeney which thudded against the post.
Then came the hosts’ second moment of class. With their best move of the match, the ball was worked to Rob Elvins, deployed as an emergency striker late on, in the box and he squared it for Glover to blast his ninth goal of the campaign into the top corner.
Unlike against Histon, City held on this time but you can’t help but think more valuable points have been dropped at home.
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