MIDLAND FOOTBALL LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Worcester City 0 Long Eaton United 1 (Wiggins-Thomas 86p)

RUBEN Wiggins-Thomas rolled home the penalty that decided a drab affair at the Victoria Ground.

Liam Lockett was denied at close quarters within 30 seconds in a lively start by City but United started to gain territory after settling with Ross Parker forcing a one-on-one stop from home keeper Sam Gilder from a recycled set piece.

City’s James Lemon hit the bar with a point-blank range header 27 minutes in but Long Eaton had more of the play either side of the break with Gilder again covering the angles well with Henry Bestwick bearing down on goal.

Lockett was denied a 63rd-minute opener by an offside call replays showed to be incorrect with City making more chances on the break yet conceding a lot of possession in the second half.

WATCH: Is Liam Lockett's disallowed goal the worst offside call ever? 

Worcester News:

The sting in the tail arrived four minutes from time after Sam Hall had needlessly pushed substitute Ben Fairclough in the box as he received a short throw.

Here, we assess the talking points.

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Two clangers decided this match but neither team could have grumbled about much having dropped plenty more across the 90 minutes.

What on earth the assistant referee thinks he saw only he knows but City also have to look in the mirror – Hall's split-second lapse was equally unfathomable with a number of candidates looking prone to an error.

Both went against City but it could easily have swung the other way – just like it did in another poor match up at Grange Park earlier in the season.


Frankly, City had none.

It would be easy to point to the departure of George Forsyth but while that was telling, this performance was more about having no one to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

It was hard not to feel sorry for the back four, even the midfield anchors, because there was not enough pressure on simple balls over the top. At the same time, there was no on-field general to make sure it happened.


City are crying out for an old head to direct operations so some understanding over the rookie errors is in order.

The entire outfield 10 were aged 23 or younger, including four products of the youth system.

Effort was not a problem, more the way it was directed.


John Snape has made clear his intention to use the rest of this season as a test for those who want to be in his 2019-20 plans.

This would not have been a pleasant experience for the manager or his players but he found plenty about those who might sink and others who could swim, perhaps with a little help from one or two senior figures.


There was an air of resignation hanging over the Victoria Ground and the atmosphere felt too flat for comfort.

Even in the dark times towards the end of last season, there was at least a bit of anger and vitriol.

The lack of emotion from the stands was eerie and quite concerning at this critical point in the club's history.


Bellowed out frequently in an attempt to lift performance levels, commanded his area well and produced two one-on-one saves. By far City’s best player.


City: Gilder 8, Keasey 5, McFarlane 6, Hall 5, Horton 5, English 5, Moran 5 (Evans, 57, 5.5), Willis 5.5 (Withington, 73, 5.5), Lemon 5, Lockett 5.5, Baldwin 5 (Harrison, 57, 5.5). Unused subs: Attoumani, Birley.

Long Eaton: Taylor 7, Rowley 6.5, Scanlon 5.5, Brittain 5, Graham 5.5, Parker 6, Gamblen 5, Campbell 6, Towle 5.5 (Fairclough, 82, 5.5), Wiggins-Thomas 6, Bestwick 5. Unused sub: Banton.

Attendance: 346.

Referee: Ross Smart, 6.

Match rating: 3.