After the mauling the week before it was back to action for the Whirlwinds away against FC Leighton Colts, on a very bumpy pitch, but it’s the same for both sides !
Whirlwinds started a little nervously gifting possession away in the early exchanges, which was a major contributing factor in our previous game. However thankfully after a few minutes they settled in well, and no damage was inflicted by the opposition. A midweek drilling on goal kicks was working well, and the composure and confidence came flooding back. Some terrific link up play in midfield and attack, saw the Whirlwinds dominate for long periods and create a few half chances, but were just closed out in front of goal. A great move from midfield to attack saw Sam A. open up the defence with his quick feet, and smash home 0-1, it was very well deserved and really on the balance of play Whirlwinds should have been 2-3 goals clear. Leighton responded well and came back in to the game with some nice football, but attacks were in the main well dealt with. Leighton launched a quick counter attack, for once the Whirlwinds defence lost shape and Leighton exploited the gap to finish 1-1. The game was then an even contest as Leighton gained some confidence after getting a foothold in the game, Cameron pulling off one fine stop and Whirlwinds not really penetrating as well as they had earlier. Leighton grabbed another goal after a wicked deflection left the keeper stranded 2-1, half time approached and the Whirlwinds got back in control of the game and were pressing for an equaliser.
Half time team talk, praised the possession football we played in the first 20 minutes which saw us well on top, but we needed to tighten up a little defensively because both goals came from a lack of concentration and positioning at the back. The second half started the as complete opposite to the first, Whirlwinds were on the back foot and Leighton buoyed by their bit of good fortune, and also not being further behind after the start they made, now in control and Whirlwinds couldn’t seem to get going again. Sadly again some bad organisation and lack of concentration lead to a corner being converted at the near post 3-1. A few minutes later, another shot took a wicked deflection and looped in 4-1, the 5th soon followed again from a defensive mistake 5-1, lesson’s not learn’t from the last corner resulted in a headed goal from the near post 6-1. It was an England Cricket Team style collapse. To their credit heads never went down and Whirlwinds for the last ten minutes got going and again started to come back in the game, a fantastic through ball found Oliver break free and his pace took him away from the defenders, with two supporting players square, he decided to shoot from the edge of the box and the ball flew past keeper in to the bottom corner, a superb finish, 6-2. Only a couple of minutes remained and although on top Whirlwinds just couldn’t manage to close the gap further.
Summary : Really pleasing to see the things we worked on in training transferred to the pitch, distribution from the back was so much improved, unrecognisable from the previous week. First 20 minutes of the game we were back to our best. Unfortunately the first half was over shadowed by the 2nd half defensive collapse, some individual errors but also a lack of cover from midfield put us under a lot of pressure, and we paid the price. We did move a lot of players around today and this was contributing factor, but in friendlies we need to try and test things out, and we hope players will learn and develop from trying to play in some different positions.
MO.M – Special mention to Cameron who nailed his distribution and really took the advice on board and implemented it on the pitch, but M.O.M goes to Sam A, who was real threat to the opposition whenever he was on the pitch.