Gloucester City celebrate festive double over Worcester City
Gloucester City 4
Worcester City 2
Frenetic from first minute to last, a pulsating local derby ended with Gloucester City celebrating a festive double over Worcester City, writes James Young.
Jordan Goddard capped a first-half full of errant finishing with his second Tigers goal and a purple patch at the start of the second half put City in firm control ahead of an attempted late Worcester comeback.
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A breathless run of three goals in five minutes saw Darren Edwards, Will Morford and Lewis Hogg put a rampant City four goals to the good and make late replies by Rob Elvins and Kyle Patterson, in the end, academic.
Setting the tone for what was to come, both sides wasted golden early chances with Worcester keeper Matt Sargeant alert to deny Tom Webb on 12 minutes, moments after Danny Glover had forced a superb stop from Gloucester's Mike Green.
A terrific diving tackle from Graham Hutchinson denied Morford after Danny Andrew's long ball was flicked into the striker's path by Darren Edwards with Hogg curling the rebound high and wide.
Glover was closer with his curling effort from fully 25 yards at the midpoint of the half, but his right-footed effort from the left corner of the box flew inches wide of the post with Green beaten.
Green was beaten again two minutes later, but after working space on the right former Gloucester striker Mike Symons saw his cross-shot cannon to safety via the far post.
At the other end Andew was next to line up in the coconut shy, but after driving into the box just after the half-hour his powerful angled shot flew wide of the target.
The chance-a-minute, end-to-end, basketball-style action saw little sign of abating with Patterson perhaps guilty of the most telling miss, firing over after good work from Glover had put him clear on Green.
Bagasan Graham tested Sargeant with a shot seconds later, before somehow wasting the chance of the half in first-half stoppage time, failing to beat Worcester's keeper from two yards out after fine work from Morford.
But the Tigers didn't have long to dwell on the miss as from a poorly-cleared corner, determined work from Morford and Edwards opened up space for Goddard to stroke home from 12 yards.
The manic first-half proved too much for assistant referee Ben James and Gloucester's Tom Hamblin who were both forced off with injuries.
And after Ashley Sammons volleyed over from the edge of the box in the second minute of the half, the happy and endless supply of goalmouth action continued.
Indeed, with the ball transferred to the other end in double-quick time, Edwards set up the rampaging Hogg to shoot and set up the second goal.
Sargeant parried the midfielder's low drive from the edge of the box but poacher supreme Edwards was there to gobble up the rebound and make it 2-0.
Green denied Glover at the other end and in the blink of an eye and typically of the game it was 3-0 with Morford put through on goal and expertly lifting the ball over Sargeant.
And if that wasn't enough, virtually before the celebrations had died down Hogg strode past former City loanee Tyler Weir and slotted home his first Tigers goal, to make it four.
Weir was then hauled off to the delight of the fans who cheered his name last year before Worcester skipper Elvins gave his side hope of an unlikely comeback.
Lining-up a shot from fully 30-yards, Elvins's shot looped over a despairing Green via a meaty deflection from a Gloucester boot.
Ellis Deeney shot over and Green gathered a Glover cross before with eight minutes remaining Patterson bundled home from close range to set-up a grandstand finish.
Glover, again, shot wide, Hutchinson went close to scoring in his own net at the other end and Tom Thorley struck the post with Worcester's last chance as the game ended just as it began with chances arriving at both ends of the pitch.
Gloucester City: M Green; S Rawlings, T Hamblin (J Harris, 46), M Coupe, D Andrew; B Graham (A Mann 71), T Webb, J Goddard (S Davies 86), L Hogg; W Morford, D Edwards. Subs not used: J Parker, N Mustoe.
Worcester City: M Sargeant; T Weir (S Whitehead 56), G Hutchinson, J Rowe, E Deeney; A Sammons (M Breeze 57) , R Elvins, T Thorley; K Patterson D Glover, M Symons (M Taylor 64). Subs not used: C Reece, G Thompson.
Referee: A Coggins (Oxfordshire)
Star man: Jordan Goddard – capped the final home match of his loan spell with the crucial goal as part of an all-action display.