Queen’s finally halt the Worcester juggernaut

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Worcester’s unshakable domination at the top of the premier division was finally ended by a powerful Queen’s side last Wednesday. In a tightly fought match the resurgent Queen’s side, previously pointless in the league, left with a well-earned point.   Worcester had previously recorded three wins from three, scoring over a dozen goals in the process and knocking holders Balliol out of cuppers. But the cancellation of the centaurs’ match saw Queen’s strengthened by a number of players from the University second team, a more challenging prospect than had encoutered thus far. Queen’s were able to shackle them successfully with hard working, aggressive and composed performances in midfield. As a result, never managed to assert themselves on this game as in previous weeks.From the off the confident swagger Worcester has earned this season was rattled. A twenty-yard strike from Queen’s simon Lennox on the stroke of fifth minute left rattled Worcester keeper Dave Quiggley beaten and only the woodwork prevented a surprise early lead. Offering the tantalising prospect of the goal fest we were all hoping for, Queen’s patience was rewarded early on with a perfectly positioned free kick from the left. The industrious Kirosh Nikbin struck the ball crisply into the heart of worcester’s defence to be beautifully converted by Captain Paul Gorrie.This proved to be the wake-up call Worcester needed to get their game in order. The remainder of the first half was commanded easily by the Worcester midfield who looked to be gaining the upper hand. It was not long before prolific fresher Toogood was in on goal only to be denied by a desperate clearance off the line.Worcester kept piling forward to try and preserve their unbeaten run, and were rewarded in fine style after Chris Beanland slotted the ball home from a nicely taken corner from sam rowlands, levelling the scores and dealing a psychological blow to Queen’s before half time.The second half saw neither team establish any dominance of the pitch in what was a hard fought and physical midfield battle. Worcester were unable to maintain the pressure they had piled on at the end of the first half, but Captain Lucian Weston gave a determined and diligent performance that was surely worth man-of-the-match to rouse his troops. The game was up for grabs as it suddenly came back to life in the last ten minutes of the second half. In what was a nail-biting finish it looked as though Queen’s were going to take the three points as Nikbin found himself in space on three occasions only to put the ball narrowly wide. In Queen’s captain Gorrie’s eyes "the Queen’s season starts here". However, Worcester will not be displeased. up against a side containing players of a calibre they are unlikely to meet again in the league, they held onto their unbeaten record and remain top ofARCHIVE: 6th week MT 2005

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