Bletchley Jrs Tornadoes 2 – 5 WWFC Hurricanes
Scorers: Joe (2), Harry (2), Asante
H/T Score: 1 – 4
Team: Evan; Charles, Freddie, Orlando, Rocco (c), Ryan; Asante, Francis, Harry, Joe, Luke; Tao
TORNADOES BLOWN AWAY IN DEVASTATING BLAST
Following last week’s 0-1 reverse against the Tornadoes of Moretonville Juniors, the Lions faced the other Tornadoes, from Bletchley. Having played against this team probably more than any other, Woburn knew what to expect – a physical battle against determined opponents. Bletchley’s lowly league position would not count for anything against their fierce rivals, but fortunately Leon and Andy had the luxury of a fully fit squad to call upon, on the lush Bletchley turf.
Indeed, the start of the game showed the danger that Bletchley possessed, as within the 2nd minute their big no. 15 broke through the Woburn defence. Evan was quick off of his line, spread himself well, and the Bletchley shot hit the outside of the post. Soon after, Rocco took a free kick which Francis collected, but his through-ball just evaded Tao’s reach. Woburn were now asserting themselves in midfield, leading to a succession of corners which were stoutly defended by the Tornadoes. However, 10 minutes in another through ball bisected the Lions back line, and this time the Bletchley 15 made no mistake slotting the ball past Evan’s despairing dive. 1-0, arguably against the run of play, but Bletchley had shown their attacking threat.
From the restart the Lions again poured forward, and Luke’s free kick resulted in a corner, which evaded everyone in the box and went out for a throw-in. Two minutes later, Luke won the ball in midfield and played in Francis whose shot was deflected behind. From Francis’ corner, Joe’s deft touch went through the keeper’s legs for the equaliser. 1-1, and the boys enjoyed a breather whilst there was a break in play due to a Bletchley injury.
Leon and Andy took the opportunity to refresh the team as Asante replaced Luke. His lightning pace almost paid dividends immediately but he was adjudged offside when racing onto Rocco’s through ball. Woburn were threatening, and they got their reward when Francis flicked the ball into the box, the defender miskicked and Harry pounced on the loose ball to lash in. 1-2, and Woburn were justly in front.
Two minutes later, Evan’s huge goal kick was chased down by Tao – he shot, the keeper saved, and once again Harry cleaned up, coolly slotting home. 1-3, and the dominant Lions were in full control.
Confidence was flowing through the team – Rocco, Ryan and Charles had looked solid breaking up attacks, and calm playing the ball out of defence. Luke, Francis and Joe had battled hard in midfield against spirited opposition, and Asante, Harry and Tao had terrorised the Tornadoes’ defence. Further evidence of this was provided on 22 minutes, as Joe’s 25-yard shot zipped past the post. Tao was then ruled offside in a marginal decision, but then Evan had to make a save from a Bletchley attack.
One minute later and another Lions corner was taken by Joe. Francis flicked it towards goal but the rebound went back to Joe. He looped the ball in to the near post, and the keeper could only punch it into the net. 1-4, and the Hurricanes had blown the opposition away with 4 goals in 12 minutes.
More chances came and went before half-time, with Asante and Tao going close, but the Lions went into the break 3 goals to the good.
The second half saw more pressure exerted by the away team, as Woburn stretched the Tornadoes defence time and time again, with both Tao and Charles being adjudged offside. Francis also had a shot just past the post. Another goal seemed inevitable, but when it came it was for Bletchley – a hopeful ball into the Lions’ box was missed by all, and the nippy Tornadoes striker reduced the deficit. 2-4, and after looking dead and buried, Bletchley were back in it.
This only seemed to inspire Woburn, and Asante nearly chipped the keeper after Charles’ surging drive forward. From Joe’s resulting corner, Harry’s flick was well saved. With 20 minutes to play Rocco, who had been outstanding as usual at the back, had to be substituted after a clash of heads but it was business as usual from Woburn. Orlando showed great strength in the tackle time and time again, and Luke (who had also taken a knock earlier) orchestrated play in the central midfield. Harry too was twisting and turning, and tiring Bletchley were often unable to live with his trickery. This was proved with a quarter of the match left, as Harry won the ball on the right and unselfishly played in Asante through the middle. Asante made the control, run and shot look easier than it was, and found the corner of the net. 2-5, and Woburn were surely now safe.
Bletchley were not quite done though, and the no. 15 found another way through the Lions back line but just as he was about to shoot Francis’ exquisitely-timed tackle stole the ball from him and saved an almost certain goal. The final act of the game was also the best move, as Evan’s goal kick found Freddie. He exchanged a one-two with Asante, strode imperiously into the Bletchley half, and passed to Luke who quickly teed up Francis but his shot squirmed past the post and that was that. A great end to a thoroughly satisfying morning’s work for the Hurricanes.
Credit to Bletchley who never gave up, as without the benefit of substitutes every one of them put in a shift against the Lions. Woburn can now go into the next game against league leaders Stony Stratford full of confidence. Well played everyone!