Monday, August 29, 2005

ANDY Preece questioned the desire of his players after Worcester City crashed to their first home defeat of the season.

City crumbled 2-1 to promotion favourites Droylsden at St George's Lane yesterday -- despite taking the lead with Les Hines' sweetly struck free-kick.

Dave Cameron equalised before half-time for the aggressive visitors and Jody Banim poked home a close-range second-half winner.

While Droylsden's front two revelled in hitting the scoresheet, there was further misery for City strikers Leon Kelly and Adam Webster, who cannot buy a goal at the moment.

After losing two and drawing two of their August matches, Worcester are already eight points adrift of Northwich Victoria and Stafford Rangers at the top of the Nationwide North table.

"I don't think we played very well," said player-manager Preece. "But we should have got something out of the game. Droylsden were no better than us.

"We had clear-cut opportunities. We are just finding it hard to score at important times. Saying that, we did score a very good goal. But we have got to show a little bit more desire to keep that lead.

"We have played Kettering, Hinckley and Droylsden and none of them have been better than us. But they are finding an edge from somewhere that we have got to find within ourselves. The edge is the desire that comes within the players. We have got to make the players think that it matters.

"It's getting that professional mentality into the players. I wanted to see that mentality when we were 1-0 up. It's easy to go through the motions and we have got to be better than that."

Hines swept in a luscious 25-yard free-kick as City pinned the Greater Manchester visitors back in a short spell of pressure.

However, Worcester took their eye off the ball as Droylsden hit back, Cameron taking advantage of Danny McDonnell's hesitancy by heading in Banim's set-piece.

Webster spurned two chances to fire the home side back in front. He first took the ball too far wide of goalkeeper Paul Phillips when put clear, then he swung and missed Jai Stanley's centre.

Banim delivered the killer blow on 66 minutes, steering home Ged Murphy's mis-hit shot at the back post.

City: McDonnell, Warner, Hines, Thompson, Woolley, Lyttle (Jones 69), Colley, McDonald (Stanley 60), Kelly (Preece 69), Webster, Hyde. Subs not used: Clegg, Khan.

Referee: Mark Sutton (Belper).

Attendance: 816.