Squad : 1. Cameron (GK), 2. Sam.D, 3. Billy, 4. Oakley, 5. Jack D, 6. Jack C, 7. Sam.A., 8. Jack M, 9. Ajiri, 10. Mitchel – Capt, 11. Joe, 12. Oliver, 14. Jake
Today saw our penultimate league game in the Autumn/Winter season away to Brickhill Wanderers, again another full squad to choose from. Pre-match entertainment was provided by the Chuckle Brothers (AKA Warren & Andy) trying to put up the team shelter, who after 10 minutes of getting nowhere, had to call in help to complete the ‘2 minute task’.
Whirlwinds started brightly, looking to move the ball around straight from kick off. Just a minute passed when a cross/shot from the right went over the ‘keeper, an alert Brickhill defender was on the line to acrobatically clear. Whirlwinds were dominating possession and Brickhill were struggling to cope, great work between Oliver & Ajiri found Jack M, free in the box his first time strike was somehow tipped on to the bar by the opposition keeper. The resulting corner was met by Oliver at the far post and again the opposition keeper somehow managed to get a hand and save the shot, two top drawer saves that kept Brickhill in the game. Eventually Brickhill managed to find some possession and started to move further up the pitch, after spending the first 15 minutes of the game largely locked in their own half. Whirlwinds defence again was looking solid and using the ball well. A rare scare when Brickhill’s skilful central midfielder danced through 2 or 3 challenges and fired a shot just wide. A great full length off the field dart by Ajiri, resulted in a powerful shot. again well saved by the opposition keeper. Then the sucker punch, a cross from the right was partially cleared to the opposite flank, where a Brcikhill midfielder lashed a half volley from a full 25 metre’s the ball looped over Cameron’s head and in, a great strike, but a cruel blow and fully against the run of play 1-0. Whirlwinds looked around at each other as if to say ‘how did that happen’, still they galvanised and continued to work the possession well, and force Brickhill in to retreating in their own half. Ajiri picked the ball up on the half way line, jinked passed one challenge, Oliver made a great run left diverting 2 defenders the space opened up and he drove past two defenders to calmly slot home 1-1. Brickhill responded well and again the central midfielder danced past a couple of desperate challenges but his weak shot was well dealt with by Cameron. Brickhill were now coming more in to the game, and it was more of an even contest. Some neat work on the left saw a cross delivered to feet in the Whirlwinds box, unfortunately the covering defender backed off and allowed the player to turn and his low shot evaded Cameron and in to the net 2-1. Half time whistle came shortly afterwards, giving Whirlwinds little opportunity to respond.
Half team talk was positive, for the first 15 minutes we had completely dominated and on another day would have been 3 up, the game would have been dead and buried. Message was to keep playing the same way, and chances would come, but we must be aware and mark tighter in our own penalty box. The second half started like the second ended, quite an even game with both teams enjoying small spells of possession without really threatening the opposite defence. 10 minutes in Ajiri slotted a through ball with the outside of his foot, Jack M held the line well and sprung clear in the box, just the ‘Keeper to beat, he saw his low shot roll just centimetre’s wide, with the keeper floundering, he held his head in his hands, chances were at a premium and he knew it. Midfielders from both side’s were now making it more of a competitive battle, so trying to get a sustained spell of possession was proving difficult. Whirlwinds still looked the better team, but Brickhill posed an occasional threat, keeping the Whirlwinds on their toes. Clear cut opportunities were proving hard to come by, a great turn in the box by Ajiri saw him go down under pressure from two Brickhill defenders, it looked a clear penalty from the opposite touchline, Ajiri was clearly injured so contact was definitely made, but the Referee waved play on, he had the best view of anyone, but it did look a stonewall penalty. Shortly afterwards a corner form the right was met by a front post run by Jack C, he made contact with his knee and directed the ball towards goal but it just flashed over. Brickhill closed ranks and defended deeper, and tackled light terriers in midfield, and the final 10 minutes was really just a stalemate.
Summary : Really harsh not to get anything out of the game, the opposition ‘keeper kept them in the game in the first 15 minutes, and then we got caught by another ‘worldy’, seems to happen time and time again to us this season ! Really impressive first half, and on another day we would have walked off 3 or 4 goals up. The second half was a little disappointing, I think we got a little desperate in trying to chase an equaliser, trying to force things too much. Not really doing the things we did in the first half, which saw us largely dominate the game. We spoke to the boys at the end about just playing the same way throughout the game, regardless of scoreline, if we manage to put two halves together like the first half, we will be a formidable opponent for any team.
M.O.M – Oliver. He really kept the ball well in the first half and was integral to the way we managed to dominate possession and therefore create lots of chances