A dull wintry day, suitable for a trip to Houghton, we always seem to encounter bad weather on our previous visits.
With 2/3rd’s of our regular attack missing for today’s game, we were looking for other players to step up. It was a very even start, both sides a bit sloppy in possession, Houghton pumping long balls forward, Whirlwinds defence comfortably handling the attacks, but guilty of giving the ball away in dangerous area’s. Whirlwinds gradually started to ease themselves in to the ascendancy, Ellis showing good feet in midfield unlucky not to set the dangerous looking Oliver in behind. Sam picked the ball up in the left hand side of the penalty box, checked back inside and was upended with a clumsy challenge, the Referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Oliver stepped up take it, calmly slotting it in the bottom left hand corner 0-1. It really should have been a springboard to get more goals, Oliver desperately unlucky, just missed a stooping header from a fine cross by Sam.
Whirlwinds have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot, and sure enough they allowed Houghton back in to the game, a ball was picked up in attack, lumped forward a Houghton attacker picked it up and drove at the Whirlwinds defence, he turned the defender inside out and no cover came in, as result he had the opportunity pick his spot, his shot came off the post, a reprieve, but again slow reactions by the Whirlwinds back line and the Houghton striker had a simple tap in 1-1. From being in control and looking to pull away, they were now level, and were fortunate not to go behind, again caught flat with a long ball the Houghton striker blazed high over the bar. It was a let off and was quickly punished, Billy played a perfectly weighted ball through for Oliver to race on to, he slammed his shot past the ‘Keeper in to roof of the net 1-2. Ellis showed great skill in midfield, went past one then two, the defence backed off, he took the opportunity to shoot, but slightly off balance he skewed it wide of the target.
Reasonably positive team talk, just tightened up a couple of things defensively, and try to more of a goal threat as Houghton were looking fragile in defence.
The tone of the second half was set for the start, Houghton pumping long after long ball at away defence, easy enough to repel, but the Whirlwinds midfield couldn’t pick up the second ball and relieve some pressure by keeping possession or getting up the pitch. Several corners fired in, Houghton lacking the quality really to create a clear cut opening, the best chance fell to Oliver who driving forward on the counter just put his shot wide of the post. It was a brief relief from the bombardment of long balls, constantly pumped at the Whirlwinds back line. Again on the counter Whilwinds had the chance to put the game to bed, Oliver driving forward delivering a cross to the back post, Ellis’s shot was blocked and Jack M poked the rebound wide. Finally the Whirlwinds defence gave up a chance, a cross finding it’s way across the box to the back post, but the Houghton attacker couldn’t control his shot and it trickled past the back post.
With a few minutes remaining, Whirlwinds showed some real naivety, instead of taking the opportunities to clear up the pitch, they tried to play too intricate, with tired legs their touch was off and the home side took every opportunity to lump it forward. Thomas received a ball in the face from his own player, having to removed from the pitch with his nose bleeding heavily. It was backs to wall and dig in for the result, and the Whirlwinds did just that, holding firm until the final whistle.
Scorer: Oliver 2(1P)
P.O.T.M: Oliver, took his goals well and our most dangerous attacking threat.