A GOAL from Josh Willis moments before half-time looked like being enough to give Worcester City the points at home to Midland League Premier Division strugglers Loughborough University.

He tucked away a Chris Withington cross to the far post to give the home side a boost after Loughborough had shown plenty of skill but no cutting edge.

The hosts saw more of the ball in the second half but were caught by a sucker punch late in the game when the students’ substitute Matty Olapo nipped in to grab an equaliser just moments after joining the action.

We analyse how the action unfolded at the Victoria Ground.


Sounds obvious but the statement was rammed home on Saturday during a truly entertaining first half.

Loughborough’s young bucks had the pace and skill to flummox City’s defence on numerous occasions and were slicing through the midfield at will at one point and yet home keeper Dan Jezeph didn’t have a save to make.

In contrast, City opened the scoring just before the break having spent the majority of the half on the back foot.


Boss John Snape is proving a master at getting the best out of his players simply by using them in a number of positions.

George Forsyth has been excellent in the middle of the park this season but against Loughborough he partnered skipper Jordan Stoddart in the heart of defence and was one of the better City performers on the day.

The same can be said for Joel Caines who arrived as a pacy full-back but looked excellent in a holding midfield role while fellow full-back Tyler Weir was often further forward against the students as he lapped up his duties wide on the right.


Saturday’s star performers ­— once the ridiculously talented Loughborough winger Jeremiah Dasaolu had succumbed to a back injury at the start of the second half ­— were probably the two smallest players on the field.

For City, Joel Caines was excellent just in front of the back four, snuffing out a number of attacks.

His work-rate was incredible and was a calm head throughout even when the visitors were at their bewildering best.

As for the students, Kitan Sorunke covered similar territory but probably shaded the ratings due to his involvement in many of Loughborough’s more impressive attacks, acting as the ringmaster in the centre of midfield.


Bit controversial this one as I’m sure City fans will totally disagree but I’m convinced any neutrals at the Victoria Ground were willing Loughborough University to grab an equaliser at the end of the game ­— maybe some of the home supporters as well.

Their football at times was a joy to watch and had they offered a little more support to lone striker Matty Crookes City keeper Dan Jezeph would have had a far busier afternoon.

Yes, there is an argument that they only managed a solitary shot on target all afternoon but they never stopped playing football and that should be applauded.


Could someone explain to me why more teams don’t wear purple? Loughborough’s kit was probably the best I’ve seen this season and they have the advantage of it not clashing!


MIDLAND LEAGUE PREMIER: Worcester City 1 (Willis 45 ), Loughborough University 1 (Olapo 88).

City: Jezeph 6, English 6, Smith 6, Forsyth 7, Stoddart 5.5, Caines 7.5, Weir 6, Withington 5.5, Harrison 5 (Turton 66, 5.5), Lockett 6.5 (Baldwin 72, 5.5), Willis 6 (Birley 72, 5). Unused subs: Fishwick, Gilder.

Loughborough: Hobbs 6 (Hilton 67, 5), Clibbens 6, Croud 6.5, Sorunke 7.5, Bonner 7, Eggleton 6.5, Eneremadu 6, Connor 5.5 (Olapo 85, 5.5), Crookes 7, Hanson 6.5, Dasaolu 7.5 (Ferrinho 47, 5). Unused subs: Jackson, Slack.

Attendance: 336.

Referee: Fabio Greenwood 7.