Second game of the season and a trip to Oakley, to play one of our old adversaries.
Whirlwinds were down to the bare bones, 10 minutes before kick off, they just had 9 players, fortunately as the game started they had the full compliment of 11, with Archie drafted in as an emergency goal keeper. Oakley started the brighter, keeping the ball well in midfield and looking neat and tidy, however the away side were staying in shape keeping compact, to deny any space to play through them. It was a bit of a game of chess. The game broke in to life after 15 minutes, Ajiri bursting down the left, whipping in a tremendous cross to Ibu at the back post, with the goal at his mercy, he diverted the ball wide. Oakley at the other end served a warning, breaking through the left channel and in on goal, but the attacker could only skew his shot wide.
At the other end, Ajiri had a great chance but could only fire at the keeper, then a replica of the earlier chance, Ajiri again providing Ibu with a good opportunity at the back post, but the same result with ball pushed wide. Oakley then broke through the left channel again, just on side, the attacker in behind the away defence, his low struck shot, bouncing off the stand in keepers legs and in 1-0. It gave the home side a boost, next they broke through the right channel, but Archie dived down to his right, to push away and Jake swept in behind to mop up the danger. The away team should have levelled just before the break, a corner fell to Ibu, again the goal gaped but his shot struck a defender.
Despite being a goal down, it was a fairly positive half time team talk, we felt there were weaknesses in the opposition defence, just needed to push forward a little more.
Second half got underway and straight away Whirlwinds stepped the intensity up, forcing a corner straight away, which Oakley cleared at the second attempt. Whirlwinds looked a different animal, Billy & Dylan controlling the centre of the pitch, Oliver getting forward to support the attacks when he could. Oakley were struggling to break forward, and when they did, Whirlwinds rearguard handled everything with relative comfort. Ajiri then spurned a great chance to draw level, he twisted and turned in the box, got half a yard, and with goal at his mercy he elected for power, his shot sailed inches over the bar. It seemed to anger his team mates, who upped the intensity, a cross in to the box, was half controlled by Ibu, it broke for Ajiri, this time he made no mistake, slotting across the ‘keeper in to the bottom right corner. A change to a more attacking formation, to push more men forward, paid immediate dividends. Oliver now raiding down the right, clipped in an inviting cross, Sam launched himself in the air to attempt an overhead kick, he missed the ball completely, not sure the shout of ” keep your eye on the ball” whilst he landed in a heap, was much of a consolation to the Whirlwinds captain. Billy poked a shot wide, from the edge of the box. As the away team pushed forward for a winner, they left gaps at the back, an Oakley attacker took advantage of a long ball, in on goal, Harrison just did enough to make him shoot wide.
It was their only opportunity of the half, and they paid the price of not taking advantage of it. Billy powered past two in midfield, Oliver made a run down the right wing in front him, two defenders dragged across, and Billy found a superb reverse diagonal pass, to put Sam through on goal, he applied a sublime chipped finish over the ‘keeper 1-2.
The referee advised 8 minutes remained, Oakley threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser, the Whirlwinds defence had a few nervy moments, but stood firm, not presenting them with an opportunity to level, a full 16 minutes later, the Referee decided to eventually end the game.
Scorers: Ajiri, Sam
M.O.T.M: Billy – drove the team forward in the second half
Special thanks to Archie who took one for the team to act as stand in goalkeeper today👍