Vanarama National League North
Jonny Bonell reports from Edgeley Park
DEFENSIVE frailties have been a well documented problem at Worcester City this season.
Having shipped 16 goals in seven games, you could have been forgiven for thinking that tally was set to increase at fourth-placed Stockport County today (Saturday).
But a resurgent and resilient Worcester back line put in a solid performance to earn a deserved 0-0 draw at Edgeley Park.
Nathan Vaughan proved his worth with a couple of crucial saves, but Carl Heeley and Matt Gardiner’s men earn their share of the spoils against a Stockport side who ended the game with ten men when Lamin Colley saw red with just seconds to go.
County were in the ascendancy from the off as Glenn Rule’s powerful drive was held by Nathan Vaughan after just 60 seconds and then the midfielder’s through ball to Kayode Odejayi had just too much on it, enabling the Worcester ‘keeper to come out and claim it.
Rule and his midfield partner Lewis Montrose were proving a class above in the middle, the latter needlessly blazed over after ten minutes but his through ball with the outside of his boot three minutes later found Callum Dyson whose angled drive was tipped over the top.
Dyson curled another from the edge of the box which Vaughan kept hold of, and Jake Kirby headed over in the box, but the hosts’ threat faded as the half wore on and Worcester started to make their mark as Daniel Nti volleyed well wide from the edge of the box.
There was an even better opening for City just before the break when Ellis Deeney broke through the middle and had debutant Lee Hughes free in the box, but the through ball had too much on it for Hughes to get a sight at goal.
It was roles reversed at the start of the second period as Neil Young’s men were pegged back by Worcester – who dominated the early possession and came close when Hughes’ cross-come-shot was tipped behind by Danny Hurst.
Nikolai Todorov was narrowly off target with a header after 65 minutes but the Stockport danger remained as first Vaughan kept out Kirby’s fierce 25-yard effort before Tom Sharpe threw himself at Kirby’s strike and managed to take enough off the ball for Vaughan to claim comfortably.
Dyson did drill one wide as the hosts tried to grab their second home win of the season, but the cause was lost when substitute Colley was shown a straight red for an off-the-ball incident with Alex Gudger.
There were a smattering of boos from the 3,000 strong crowd, who were left disappointed as they watched there side fail to score at home for the second successive game.