By Tim Clarke 07/04 Updated: 09/04 14:49
Worcester City 1 Eastwood Town 0
Blue Square Bet North
Tim Clarke reports from St George's Lane
MIKE Symons' 17th league goal of the season secured a vital 1-0 victory for play-off chasing Worcester City who had to dig deep to see off a stubborn challenge from relegated Eastwood Town on Saturday.
The relief inside St George’s Lane was palpable as Symons held his nerve to grab the decisive goal 17 minutes from time after the league's bottom side had threatened to put a major dent in City's play off ambitions.
Many might have expected City to ease past opponents who came into Saturday's clash on the back of a six match losing streak but John Ramshaw's side had other ideas and frustrated Worcester for long spells with a spirited display.
In the end though City's patience was rewarded and while the performance was anything but pretty that will matter little to Carl Heeley's side who notched up their third straight league victory to keep their pursuit of a top five finish firmly on track.
While Eastwood's own league fate had already been sealed the Badgers had no intention of making life easy for City and Alex Troke's snap shot inside the first minute which had Worcester keeper James Dormand scrambling provided an early warning the visitors were not just there to make up the numbers.
City looked nervy early on and a slip by Dwayne Samuels let in winger Markell Bailey whose chip over Dormand was frantically cleared off the line by Rob Elvins.
The hosts had to wait until the 27th minute for their first effort on target as Jacob Rowe’s header was comfortably saved by Sam Andrew.
Greg Mills – playing up front alongside Symons in the absence of the injured Michael Taylor – saw his rising shot tipped over by Andrew but chances remained few and far between as City struggled to break down their opponents.
The hosts seemed to find another gear after the break though as firstly Symons flicked Tom Thorley's cross a foot wide before Mills flashed a low strike narrowly the wrong side of the post.
But with the tension beginning to mount inside the Lane the pressure finally told in the 73rd minute as Kevin O'Connor picked out Symons in the penalty area and the towering forward kept his cool to thump the ball into the corner of the net to the delight and relief of City's ecstatic supporters.
With their resistance finally broken Eastwood never looked like finding an equaliser and City easily held out to secure another vital three points.
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