A trip to Houghton to play Watling FC in the county cup, beautiful sunny perfect autumnal morning.
Watling go the game underway, moving the ball well through midfield, a wide pitch creating plenty of space in to play in. An interception in midfield, fed the ball to Ajiri who moved the ball on to Ibu, bursting past the defence on the left hand side of the box, his first shot was well saved by the ‘keeper, however he got a bit of luck as the ball rebounded back in to his stride for a simple tap in 0-1. It should have settled the away team, but they looked completely out of sorts, pedestrian in midfield, and the two Watling wing-backs giving the Whirlwinds full backs a torrid time. Fortunately for the away side, Watling lacked a bit of cutting edge upfront, and they couldn’t take advantage of their dominance. Oliver should have doubled the lead but he couldn’t make a clean enough contact with his left foot and a grateful Watling ‘keeper saw the ball roll straight through to him.
Whirlwinds made a change in formation to try and get more in to the game, it worked and they finished what had in general been a poor half for them pushing forward for a second.
Disappointing display in the first half we needed, to be better with the ball, press in midfield more, and importantly put the home defenders under more pressure.
Second half got underway, again Watling neat and tidy with the ball in midfield, however Whirlwinds were getting closer putting them under pressure. Ellis enjoying a good debut, stole the ball, fed Oliver who got in to full stride and went past his marker, his shot was well saved by the ‘keeper, but Oliver reacted first to the loose ball and swivelled to send a scooping shot over the flailing ‘keeper, and covering defender into the the roof of the net 0-2. Whirlwinds now looked a bit more in control of the game, the ball broke to Ajiri on the right hand side of the box, he tried to beat the ‘keeper from a narrow angle, however he should have pulled it back to Ellis who would have had simple finish to score on his debut.
The away defence had coped much better in the second half, they looked to have the Watling attack under control, it was all undone in one move, a looped ball over the top, should have been easily dealt with but a mix up between ‘keeper and defender and the ball broke to an attacker, his first attempt was blocked, then two defenders and the goalkeeper, seemed to fall over each other to allow a simple tap in 1-2. Watling had a lifeline and they poured forward trying to get an equaliser, they had one good chance but the ball was fired wide. It was a warning for the away side and they didn’t take notice, again sloppy defending allowed Watling in down the right, clear, and in on goal, the attacker squared to a team mate to side foot in the equaliser 2-2.
From being in complete control, the away side were now in a scrap with just fifteen minutes to go, the home team had their tails up and felt they could win the game, they very nearly took the lead Nathan producing an excellent save stopping a certain goal. It finally served as the last straw for the away team, they rolled their sleeves up and finally stamped their authority on their opponents, Jack played a perfectly weighted ball to Ajiri, who skipped past the last defender and blasted in to the back of the net 2-3.
The same two combined again, Ajiri again shooting past the ‘keeper from the left, it was going in, but Oliver slid in poked it in to the net right on the line 2-4. It was all the away side now, they stretched their lead, Jack M playing a ball over the top for Ibu to latch on to and apply the perfect finish 2-5.
They were rampant now, Ibu robbed a defender raced forward and smartly found Oliver to complete his hatrick 2-6.
Scorers: Oliver (3), Ibu (2), Ajiri
M.O.T.M: Oliver, great performance and deserved his hatrick. Special mention to Ellis who enjoyed a great debut.
More Match Pics – Thanks Hugo!