Assist ace Ben Worman shows growing maturity for Cambridge United
Ben Worman leapt to the top of Cambridge United's assist makers chart after the 4-1 win over Oxford United in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday night.
The attacking midfielder saw Sam Smith and Harvey Knibbs score directly from his corners, while Adam May flicked on another of Worman's set pieces for Smith's second goal of the evening.
“The weird thing is, none of them were our actual routine!” said Worman.
“We were going to go short for a couple but their lads have marked the space, so I thought I would just put them in and we've scored from three corners and that's always good.
“It's good that we've been a threat from set-plays. We've just got to see it how it is, and if people mark us when we are trying to do something short then we've got to adapt and maybe try something different. It is what we've done, and three of them have come off.
“I'm pleased that I've been able to contribute a couple of assists.”
Add that to the free kick from which George Williams scored in the Carabao Cup defeat to Millwall, and it is a good return to start the season.
“The Millwall assist was a wide free kick and a routine we've worked on, with Willow making the run to the front stick for that and it came off,” said Worman.
“It's good that we've been a threat from set-plays.”
The win over Oxford featured four debutants, and that was much of the talk post-match, but Worman has also been catching the eye in the U's cup matches.
“I've got a couple of starts under my belt now, I think that's three games, and I've been pretty pleased with my performances,” he said. “I've just tried to go from strength to strength from each game.
“I've had to wait my time a little bit, and was in and around the team a lot last season. I didn't really get the starts which was obviously frustrating but you've just got to be ready for the opportunity when it comes.
“I've been given the opportunity three times this season, and I think I've done well but there are loads of things, especially tonight, I think I can work on. I'm just going to get my head down again, train well, watch the game back and try to keep going from strength to strength.
“From last season being frustrated, it's good to be around a winning squad and that has given me confidence and given me experience of even being on the sidelines watching the game from the bench, getting experience of how games are, learning different things from games and obviously we created a really good winning mentality last season so I've just tried to pick up things like that.
“I think that has definitely helped me from the games I've played so far.”
Worman, who turned 20 on Monday, remains the youngest player to appear for the United first team, aged 16 years two months and eight days, but one of the debutants on Tuesday night, Kai Yearn, become the club's youngest competitive scorer when getting the fourth goal, aged 16 years, three months and 10 days.
“He has scored tonight which is brilliant for him, and he looked lively when he came on so fair play to him,” added Worman.
Stevenage and Spurs under-21 lie in wait next in the Papa John's Trophy, Group H, with Spurs winning the clash between the sides 4-3 on Tuesday.
So the victory over Oxford was the perfect start for United.
“We obviously want to win all the games we play, and will build from this win,” said Worman. “The next opportunity that will come we will try to approach again the same way to get another win to progress through the competition.”