Our FA Cup adventure for this season has come to an end after defeat for Chris Cornes' men to higher-league opposition in Leek Town.
Pre-match, Cornes made six changes from the Floodlit Cup starting line-up from our midweek victory over Westfields, and opted for a side similar to that of the Thornbury Town win last weekend. Haydn Whitcombe returned in goal, while Logan Stoddart resumed at right back following being rested for the last two games in place of Cam Monteith. Kirk Layton returned at the centre of defence, paired with Elliott Keightley, and Jamie Insall and Liam Lockett returned either side of Kyonn Evans up front.
A big miss for City on the day would be Connor Gater, out with a groin injury, which meant a re-shuffle in midfield with Calvin Dinsley playing the deepest of the three, alongside Robbie Thompson Brown and Kyle Belmonte.
City started brightly and managed to create the first opportunity of the game, great hold-up play from Kyonn Evans who had peeled off to the right wing to set up Belmonte on the edge of the box, but his effort was high and off-target. It was Belmonte who would go close again on 13 minutes, when teed up by Lockett, again though his effort was off-target.
After early City pressure, Leek grew into the game, and from a corner on 27 minutes hit the bar. Pressure continued to build and it was again the crossbar standing in the away side's away on 33 minutes, a great effort from 20 yards rattling the top of the bar.
It was to be backs-to-the-wall for the remainder of the half and Haydn Whitcombe was forced into a good save from 6 yards after good touchline work, and on the stroke of half time an excellent Leek free-kick found the head of Ndene, who should really have scored but again smacked off the crossbar, and City were lucky to get in at the break all square.
Into the second half and the deadlock would be broken just after the hour mark. Some last-ditch defending from City led to the referee believing that Leek's attacker had been brought down by Lorcan Sheehan, an early second half sub by Cornes, and Daniel Trickett-Smith made no mistake from the spot.
Leek continued to put pressure on the Worcester goal and from a corner a headed attempt was cleared off the line by Stoddart on 76 minutes. Deserving of the second-half pressure, Leek secured their progress into the next round two minutes later. A ball forward was controlled well by Rob Stevenson, who managed to keep Layton at bay and loft the ball over an on-coming Whitcombe.
Elliott Hartley again looked bright when coming on, and and managed City's best opportunity of the second half with a half volley on the turn, drawing a good save from Leek's goalkeeper O'Shaughnessy. Leek then had the ball in the net again in added time, the goal though being ruled out for offside.
City's progress in this season's competition ends at the 2nd Qualifying Round stage, and we wish Leek Town all the best for the remainder f the season.