HIGHWORTH Town manager John Fisher expects to see an instant reaction from his players in their Bank Holiday derby clash with Wootton Bassett Town this afternoon (kick-off 3pm) after a ‘pathetic’ display at Oxford City Nomads on Saturday.
The Worthians came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline at Court Place Farm but Fisher claims that his side were like ‘men against boys’ and the margin of defeat could easily have been much higher.
“We’ve got to have a reaction from them against Bassett because that was pathetic on Saturday,” said the Highworth boss.
“I said last week that we had to be as good as we were in the first game of the season or we’d get nothing there and that’s exactly what happened.
“We were 3-1 down at half-time and it could easily have been seven – they had three one-on-ones. We had a right go at them at half-time because it just wasn’t good enough.
“The only one that came out with any credit on Saturday was the goalkeeper (Gary Stevens). In my opinion, he’s the best goalkeeper in the league and he got a lot of practice at Oxford because he didn’t have anything in front of him.
“It was like men against boys. This kind of thing can happen in football and there isn’t anything you can do about it, other than move on.
“Bassett had a good result on Saturday. Flackwell Heath were top of the table and that’s a good point over there, so there’ll be right up for it.
“If we play like we did on Saturday, they’ll get a result against us at least.”
With around 20 minutes on the clock, Highworth took the lead as Callum Parsons cut in from the right flank and lashed home from distance.
But the Nomads roared back, with Louis Joyce heading home the equaliser before John Rixon drove home the hosts’ second.
Lewis Gabbidon’s 30-yard strike put Oxford in the box seat but struggled to find a way back into the game in the second period.
Late in the half, Highworth striker TJ Bohane did reduce the deficit as he curled in a free-kick to notch up his fourth goal in as many games but it was too little, too late for Fisher’s men.
The Worthians welcome back defender Ashley Taylor for today’s meeting with Bassett at the Corinium Stadium.