WWFC – Whirlwinds U11’s returned to Great Horwood FC for their annual pre-season tournament to defend the trophy we picked up last year.
8 teams entered and on paper it was the highest quality of teams we have encountered in any tournament we have taken part in.
Each team played 7 games in a round robin format, we faced no fewer than 6 division 1 teams all the big hitters of our age group were there. Our first venture in to 9 a-side, and offside came in to play to boot.
Whirlwinds started confidently recording two 1-0 wins and with better finishing could have won more comfortably, our Goalkeeper never troubled and touched the ball just once. Next followed a frustrating 0-0 draw, hat full of chances missed and a dramatic penalty and rebound miss, again our goalkeeper spent the game as complete spectator.
We then slipped to a heavy defeat by the team we beat in the final last year, a mixture of hap hazard defending, unfortunate bounce and a failure to retain possession cost us dearly. Fortunately this team has a great ability to bounce back and in the next game we were back on form with as comfortable a 1-0 win as you will see. After a sloppy start to the next fixture saw us quickly 2 goals down but a late dramatic comeback we pegged it back and came out with a 2-2 draw. On to the last game where a win against the Division 1 champions would have seen through to the final. A cagey game with the Whirlwinds creating the better chances and playing the neater football, but the opposition looking dangerous from set pieces saw a goalless draw.
A very credible 3rd place finish just 1 point off 2nd, 3 Wins, 3 draws and just 1 defeat saw us go in to the plate final against City Colts who we earlier played out a 2-2 draw.
Whirlwinds learn’t a lesson from the previous encounter and shut down the dangerous opposition right sided midfielder, this completely negated the oppositions attacking ability and allowed Whirlwinds the majority of possession in a tightly contested game, a couple of half chances fell our way but we couldn’t convert and our defence never looked troubled through out the game. To be honest it always looked like it was going to penalties, and so it did with a 0-0 draw at the final whistle.
The penalty shoot out started with Whirlwinds missing their first and the opposition scoring, Whirlwinds then scored their next 2 with the opposition missing their 3rd to bring it back to 2-2 with 3 each taken. The 4th penalties were comfortably converted by both sides, so on to the 5th and sudden death. Whirlwinds despatched theirs with aplomb and the pressure shifted to the opposition, unfortunately the pressure got to the opposition player, our goalkeeper not being ready, and the referee not blowing his whistle, he took his penalty and it went in, the referee called him back to re-take and the pressure increased, this time the referee blew his whistle he stepped up and the ball sailed over the cross bar.
A 4-3 penalty win, saw us once again return to Great Horwood and come away with some Silverware !