Sat 17
U16s JPL
Aspire FC
Last-gasp winner rewards fightback by Worcester City Under 15s

Last-gasp winner rewards fightback by Worcester City Under 15s

By Scott Fenn
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Spirited display sees City pull back three-goal deficit

If ever there was an archetypal game of two halves then surely this was it.

City found themselves seemingly out for the count at 2-5 down at the midway point but pulled together as a squad to snatch a dramatic victory with virtually the last kick of the match.

Their second-half performance was everything that the first-half wasn't as the hosts rolled their sleeves up, showed tremendous team spirit, determination and desire to get something from the contest and looked calm and composed when in possession.

Aspire had the first shot on goal of the game but the space that they were given for this opening opportunity wasn't heeded as the visitors worked the ball from a throw in on the left across the pitch for another chance that was buried.

Jesse Asomugha latched onto a goal kick only to hit the equalising chance over. His rewards for a fantastic performance would come but not before Aspire went further ahead when City were opened up again after failing to track their runners.

However within minutes, the home side were on level terms. Firstly George Hymas delivered an excellent cross to the back post for Will Cottell to square into the path of Archie Thurston, who netted. A scramble from a corner was then only partially cleared to the lurking Alex Fenn, who rifled the loose ball into the top corner.

Parity didn't last long though as Aspire burst through from a throw-in to regain the lead.

Asomugha was proving to be a real handful for the Aspire defence as he forced their keeper to tip over at the start of the second quarter. At the other end, Josh Reed-Jones pulled off a great double save before being beaten at his near post.

Aspire's keeper foiled Asomugha with another spectacular stop before City were undone by a ball over the top as they fell 2-5 behind.

Earlier in the season, City had come back from two goals down to beat Stoke and pulled back three goals to draw with Coventry Sky Blues so could they emulate those displays to get anything from this fixture? You bet!

It did look to be mission impossible though after a flowing move looked to result in what would possibly have been goal of the season only for the Aspire keeper to claw Jamie Neath's strike around the post. The visitors then looked certain to finish the contest when what looked to be a harmless cross bounced off the crossbar and back into play where an Aspire player couldn't turn into the gaping goal from the angle.

City continued to press and were finally rewarded when Fenn fed David Ferreira on the right. He switched to Asomugha, who cleverly lobbed the keeper to get the goal that his efforts deserved.

The home side kept up the momentum as the final quarter began and they pulled another goal back when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box to Jack Pocknell, who hooked back into the area for Neath to nod home.

Cottell neatly worked a chance for himself and brought another good save from the Aspire keeper but City weren't to be denied. Pocknell turned supplier again when he whipped a delightful ball across the goal for Asomugha to tap in for his second.

Reed-Jones was forced to tip round the post to keep his team on level terms. It was a save that proved crucial as, with seconds remaining, Will Sankey cleared the ball to Asomugha who advanced and squared for Cottell to calmly tuck away the winner and spark jubilant scenes as City completed their incredible comeback.

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Match date

Sat 17, Apr 2021