1. Cameron (GK), 3. Billy , 5. Jack D 6. Jack C , 7. Sam.A. , 8. Jack M, 10. Mitchel – Capt , 12. Oliver , 14. Jake
Back to league action after the diversion in to Futsal. The squad was depleted due to injury and holidays, so down to the bare minimum and no substitutes, a tough ask today with confidence dipping after recent performances and results.
Whirlwinds started quite brightly, enjoying the lions share of possession, but found a strong and resilient rearguard and struggled in general to find a way through. The opposition did look at times threatening, but were largely held at bay by a new found resilient defence, being well marshaled by Mitchel, a change in formation saw Billy playing in a defensive holding role which seemed to give the back 3 more confidence and composure, distribution from the back was 100% improved, which allowed the Whirlwinds to keep the ball for longer periods. The opening 15 minutes saw both teams really cancel each other out, but the Whirlwinds looked the more polished footballing team. A break down the left from the Ravens, saw a cross come in which was acrobatically volleyed home by the opposition striker, a great goal, marking could have been a little tighter but sometimes you just have to hold your hand up and say it was a fine goal 0-1 . Whirlwinds responded well and again held the majority of possession but just couldn’t find a way through a strong rearguard. A needless foul, led to a free kick for the opposition a full 35 metres out on the left hand side of the pitch, a scuffed free kick bounced on the edge of the box took two deflections and trickled past an unsighted Cameron in to the corner of the net 0-2. Whirlwinds looked around in disbelief a huge slice of luck and one they certainly didn’t deserve to be on the end of. Still they plugged away, a quick counter by the opposition saw the striker running in on goal, a strong defensive challenge on the edge of the box seemed to have curtailed the danger but the ball bounced back off the striker looped high over the keeper’s head and in the top corner, another slice of luck against the run of play 0-3. A nice passing move, saw Sam A receive the ball in central position on the edge of the box, his quick feet left two defenders in his wake and clear through on goal, a desperate lunge by a covering defender wiped his legs away and the referee pointed to the spot, a lifeline but no more then the deserved, Jack D stepped up to take and struck low just past the keeper’s right hand post, however a keen eyed linesman spotted the keeper off his line and the Referee asked for a retake, this time Sam A. stepped up………. and put it in exactly the same place ! It just wasn’t going to be the Whirlwinds day. HT soon followed, and the Whirlwinds trudged off heads low and in a bit of disbelief at how they found themselves 3 goals down.
Half time team talk concentrated on the positives, luck will turnthis half season at some point, until then they just need to keep doing the correct things. Whirlwinds were sent out, just to try and ‘win’ the second half and see where it took them. They started brightly particularly threatening down the right hand side, possession was now 80% in their favour and the away team were being kept back, chance after chance after chance after chance went begging, 4 or 5 times clean through with just the keeper to beat the ball sailed over the bar wide or hit the keeper who didn’t know much about it. Better finishing and a bit of fortune would have seen the Whirlwinds well in front, at the opposite end the opposition were being restricted to the occasional break and long range shot, which were shooting practice for Cameron and easily dealt with. Full time was approaching and one final attack saw Sam A. deliver a fantastic ball over the top for Jack M. to hook a powerful cross which was met by Oliver at the back post with a low stooping header, a great goal and some reward for what was a totally dominant second half display.
M.O.M – MItchel, after a few wobbly defensive performances back to his calm reassured self, some fantastic defensive headed clearances, and distribution from the back was superb. Special mention to Billy for adding some defensive steel playing just in front and also Sam A, who at times was unplayable with his movement and clever passing.
Summary : A huge improvement on recent weeks, really up against it with no substitutes to help freshen things up, we showed some real resilience, particularly in the second half, 3 goals down, but belief was there for all to see, and they dominated the second half but didn’t get the reward their efforts deserved. On another day it would have been a 3 or 4 goal clear win. Really happy to see the work we have been doing in training, being transferred on to the pitch, keep up the hard work and we will eventually see the results turn in our favour.