VWFC vs Worcester Park
27/08/2016 Virginia Water 4 - 1 Worcester Park
Surrey Elite League Reserve Division
Report by Steve Cox
Waters Reserves kicked off their season in fine style with a deserved victory against a competitive and determined Worcester park.
It was a warm but cloudy day which produced stamina sapping conditions that affected both teams over the 90 minutes. This was a much changed starting eleven from last season’s side with only Sam Devoil, Billy Cox , Michael Chambers and Steve Mills surviving from last season’s first choice eleven. This did not affect the team performance as they went straight for the Worcester jugular with some fluent attacking play down both flanks. The new pairing upfront of Levi Jefford and Adam McNamara were linking up well and with good supply coming from midfield a home goal looked imminent .
McNamara’s first chance arriving from Liam Shannahan’s cross was driven home in clinical fashion and put Waters 1-0 in front after 9 minutes. The lead was short lived, with Waters making the cardinal sin of losing concentration after celebrating a goal and conceded an equaliser straight from the restart as Worcester grabbed a simple leveller in their first attack.
This disappointing setback did not halt Waters efforts on Worcester’s goal and 10 minutes later McNamara’s driving run and strike from 10 yards put the home side back in control. It was now all Waters and plenty of chances were created. McNamara, Mills and Jefford all could have increased Waters’ lead. There was some good football being played all over the park; Debutant Max Samyint was oozing class at left back and his counterpart on the right, Joe Moore - once shaking off early match nerves - was also impressive as he formed a formidable attacking and defensive partnership with Steve Mills. Sam Devoil, revelling in the captaincy, was leading by example in midfield too. The third goal, when it came was created by Mills and a fine first time cross from new boy Joel Morgan. It was buried at the far post 6 yards out by the predatory left foot finish of Levi Jefford, who again proved that he has goals in him anywhere in the penalty area. Waters, now 3-1 up, kept knocking on the door for their fourth goal but as halftime arrived had to settle for a 2 goal advantage.
The second half was a little “after the lord mayor’s show” as the heat and Waters exciting first half efforts seem to take their toll on their second half performance. Opportunities for a fourth goal came, Billy Cox arriving late from a Mills corner forcing the ball home was unfortunate to have his effort ruled out for offside . Watching from the sidelines manager Rob Lamb could sense a turning of the tide as Worcester Park suddenly began to enjoy more possession and began to spend more time in the Waters half. Solid defending mainly from Cox and Chambers in central defence and confident keeping from Matt Hargreaves mainly nullified any Worcester Park goal threat, but it wasn’t enjoyable watching for Lamb after the highs of the first half.
The introduction of fresh legs in the form of Jamie Kemp and Alex Saunders eventually turned things around, McNamara and Moore were denied goals by fine saves from the visiting keeper who kept Waters second half frustrations alive, but in the 87th minute Steve Mills collection of fine deliveries from corners was rewarded as he curled his final one into the Worcester Park goal to finally snuff out any ideas of a comeback.
The 4-1 victory was deserved but tempered by spells of lethargy in the second half that could be exploited by better teams than Worcester Park. The Waters management team needs to make sure they maintain a more consistent level for the whole 90 minutes if they are to launch a strong campaign for the league title.
MoM = Max Samyint
Sam Devoil (c)