Our first game of the 2015-16 season, with two Players (Nathan & TJ) making their full debuts, a tough test against Tattenhoe Youth Tigers who we have always had close games with in the past, but come out on top. They have improved over the last eighteen months which has seen them placed in Division 1 of the MKDDL for the coming season.
Whirlwinds started brightly, moving the ball around well, looking calm and reassured at the back, pretty dominant in midfield and a real threat up front. A few early attacks were repelled with last ditch blocks and tackles by the away side, Whirlwinds were pushing for the opener, looking particularly dangerous down the left. A quick interchange of passes involving Oakley, Ajiri & Jack M, saw the latter find some room behind the defence, and play a slotted ball across for Sam to apply a smart low finish 1-0. Whirlwinds continued to press, with Sam, Ajiri & Jack M all going close, again the majority of the probes were coming down the left, the away side struggling to stop the movement and interchange of passes, the second goal was coming and again, down the left Jack M found space, drove in to the box and cleverly pulled the ball back for Sam to score his second 2-0. Tattenhoe woke up and started to compete in midfield to come more in the game, chances came at both ends before they managed to pull one back, after the Whirlwinds were caught napping in midfield 2-1. Tattenhoe now had their tails up and were enjoying more of the game than the home side, who’s early effervescence had faded. A couple of well delivered corners were allowed to dangerously fly across the six yard area. A quick break and a good exchange of passes saw the away team break through the home defence, Nathan parried the shot which bounced back kindly for the opposition, the home keeper scrambled to get up and and try to retrieve the ball, but the away forward nipped in before him and flipped his shot narrowly wide, momentum carried him through and crashing in to the home keeper’, to the home sides surprise the Referee pointed to the spot. Penalty was taken by the same attacker, hard and low to Nathan’s right, who guessed the right direction and parried away for a corner, great save and justice done. The penalty miss seemed to take the wind out the away team sails. Whirlwinds were now on top, Ajiri employed as a striker, causing havoc with his running and pace, got his reward when he latched on to the end of another great pass from Jack M and hammered home 3-1. Whirlwinds continued to press for a fourth, narrowly missing on a couple of occasions, the referee blew for half time, with the home side well on top.
The second half started like the first, the home side dominating the play and the away side well on the back foot. They got their reward for constant pressure, Ajiri drifting in form the left and taking a through ball in his stride, the opportunity seemed to have gone as he tried to work the ball on to his left foot, but a nice touch got him half a yard of space to send in a powerful strike which the keeper found to hot to handle 4-1. The home side then seemed to relax a little, and allow the away side back in to the game. First game back and perhaps a little tiredness crept in, where the passing had been sharp and crisp, it was now disjointed and sloppy. Giving the ball away in midfield, allowed the away side too much possession, and invited pressure. The away side had a few long range chances, most flying high and wide but one shot was well tipped over by Nathan in the home goal. Pressure eventually told and a miskicked looping effort, sailed up and over Nathan who could do nothing to stop it dropping in to the net 4-2. Whirlwinds responded well and seemed to pick up a little, they started once again to pop the ball around in midfiled, a terrific 4 pass move found Sam on the right, he jinked pass one challenge evaded another and then played to a superb lobbed pass to the oncoming Ajiri, who calmly slotted home for his hat-trick 5-2. Whirlwinds had found their mojo again and were now looking to finish the game on a high, Sam looking threatening and taking advantage of tired legs with his quick feet, danced passed a challenge on the edge of the box and was then bundled over, the Referee pointed to the spot. Jack D was handed the opportunity to open his account, he struck the ball low and hard but the away Keeper’ stooped to his right to collect. Tattenhoe reacted well and pressed forward, with the very final kick of the game they pulled back a a late consolation 5-3.
Summary: Great first half performance, looked very sharp considering it was the first game back, took our chances well and could well have been 4 or 5 goals clear. Started the second half well but faded in the middle of the second half and didn’t look after the ball well enough, perhaps a little tired or a bit too comfortable in the game. Overall lots of positives and some great individual performances.
M.O.M: Special mention to Ajiri & Sam for great finishes and attacking play, also to Jack M for creating 3 of the goals, but TJ takes the award, on his full debut, he was calm and assured at the back, distribution was superb, an excellent first game, and already proving to be a valuable addition to the squad.