The Whirlwinds had a return friendly against Tattenhoe Youth Tigers, whom they had opened the season with a hard fought 5-3 win. A beautiful morning for football, felt more like late August than early October.
Whirlwinds were a little slow starting today, they didn’t quite get up to the tempo of the game, perhaps to be expected a little because the last 4 games we a bit of a stroll for them. Tattenhoe as we expected, were very up for it, they were first to most balls in the opening exchanges, several of the away players were caught napping on the ball and had it taken off them. Despite this the home side were struggling to create any clear cut chances, they did go close when a powerful header from a corner just went high over the crossbar. After around 10 minutes the away side got to grips with the tempo of the game, less time on the ball meant they needed to make quicker decisions, they were, and as subsequence were now dominating midfield and moving the ball well. Jack M, Ajiri and Sam all testing the keeper with shots. Whirlwinds looked comfortable in possession, Billy introduced to stiffen up midfield was winning every thing in the centre, and feeding Oakely and Oliver who were both switching the play well and creating spaces for the attacking players to exploit. A goal was coming and what a Team goal it was Jack C robbed the ball from a home side attacker, fed Billy, who released Olly on the half way line, he had half the pitch to run in to and he drove down the right hand side, the home defence backed off and he played a lovely ball in to Jack M who let the ball cross his body and from the edge of the box curled a left foot shot in to the top corner 0-1. Ajiri then went close but just pulled his shot and probably should have done better. But he soon made up for it, a threaded pass by Oakley for him to run on to, he glided past two defenders, in the box, his low shot across the goal was too hot too handle for the home keeper and spun in to the back of the net 0-2. The home side were at sixes and sevens and loosing some discipline, a third goal would have killed the game off, again the away side pressed for it, but couldn’t quite add to their lead before the Referee blew for half time.
Half time team talk focused on making quicker decisions too often in the first part of the game players were robbed because of not making a quick enough decision, we also felt the home team were vulnerable to fast counter attacks, so to use our pace to exploit this.
The 2nd half kicked off and the home side had found some more composure, and were now at least contesting in midfield. Whirlwinds were playing very neat counter attacking football, Jake & Oliver combing particularly well down the right hand side, causing lot’s of problems but just not getting that little bit of space in and around the box to get a clean shot on target. At the other end Tattenhoe looked a greater threat with Nathan pulling off two good saves, one with his feet and the other to block a one on one situation with T.J helping him out with a great recovery to put pressure on the attacker just as he lined up to shoot. Ajiri broke clear and round the back of the defence, but he elected to shoot and off balance skewed the shot wide, a simple pull back would have been met by one of the three oncoming attackers and put the game to bed. Tattenhoe were pressing but not really threatening to score, a spell of about 5 minutes of some nervy defending by the away side, not making proper clearances, resulted in several corners. Tattenhoe had some great delivery from the corners, Nathan tipping one over from just under his cross bar, the rest were well contested by the away side, denying the home side a clean chance on goal. Eventually an element of calm returned to the away sides defending, and the flow of corners and resulting pressure was released. The final ten minutes of the game saw the away side back in control and looking like adding to their lead Sam A fired a shot wide, Oliver found himself in behind the defence from a fantastic floated free kick by Billy, but arrived slightly ahead of the ball and tried a speculative overhead kick. Whirlwinds controlled and saw the game out comfortably.
Scorers – Jack M, Ajiri
Summary – A week start, probably because of not being used to playing a side who started with a high tempo. Once we settled in to tempo of the game, the last 20 minutes of the first half we played some superb football it was especial pleasing seeing the work we are doing in training, transfer itself on to the pitch. The second half we had to be solid and play on the counter, which apart from 5 minutes we executed it extremely well. It was an all round excellent display, great football in the first half was rewarded with two goals, and the second half we dug in when needed to see the game out.
M.O.T.M – It was really hard to pick this week, but credit Jack M who played much more simply this week and scored a great goal. Jack C, T.J & Nathan were Goliath’s at the back, Billy did what he does best, competed and controlled the centre of the pitch, Oliver’s work rate and movement was terrific, but it goes to Oakley who in the first half in particular gave his best display in a few years, passing was superb and seemed always to be on hand to offer security at the back when required.