Whirlwinds returned back to Crawley Road for their 3rd league game of the season to face Barton Rovers Blues. It was a beautiful September morning and the team were buoyant after two comfortable league wins.
Whirlwinds like last week, started the game pretty sloppily, bad touches, disjointed passing were a theme of the opening exchanges, Barton enjoying plenty of the ball in to what was quickly becoming a midfield battle. Whirlwinds were a shadow of the team that had played so well last week, the tempo and slick movement almost none existent. When they did get forward they looked a threat and Barton looked a little wobbly at the back when put under pressure. Whirlwinds finally put some passes together and released Jack M who broke clear of the defence to strike a powerful low shot past the keeper 1-0. A few minutes later Jack M once again found himself clear of the defence only to see is low angled shot bounce back off the inside of the post and be cleared to safety. He wasn’t to be denied a few minutes later, when some good wing play down the right between Olly & Jake allowed him to find space in the box and finish 2-0. The introduction of Ajiri down the left started to cause Barton lots of problems, and he put cross after cross in to the box, that really deserved to finished off but Whirlwinds movement and timing was off, and they just couldn’t apply a finish. Finally Ajiri’s great wing play was rewarded when his cross from the left was smartly finished by Oliver who used the pace of the ball with his left foot to send it back the way it came from, to nestle in the bottom corner 3-0. Finding themselves 3 goals to the good, the home side were far from at their best, and although in control of the game, with Barton offering very little going forward, they just couldn’t add to the lead before half time.
Half time team talk was actually a bit of a dressing down, the first 30 minutes was as poorly a they had played in a long time, message was to try and play more simpler and move the ball quicker to exploit the wide areas.
Alas it seemed to fall on deaf ears as the home side started the second half much as they had finished the first, over complicating play and getting drawn in to a battle in the centre of the pitch. They still looked to get forward but with no real penetration and poor final decision making. They were gifted an opportunity to increase their lead early in the 2nd half when Oliver was scythed down in the box, and a penalty was awarded. Jack D stepped up stroke low to keepers right but he guessed the correct way and palmed the ball wide of the post. From the resulting corner Jack D put a powerful header just over. Ajiri went close with a low strike, and then from the next attack his final touch just pushed him too close the keeper who smothered the ball. Barton had the occasional attack, but were in the main snuffed out before the got in to threatening areas, Nathan just scooping up the odd long range effort. Billy back on after a rest, powered down the right and went past two defenders in the box, he was then cynically tripped and the referee pointed to the spot. Billy having won the penalty stepped up to take it, his powerful strike was a good height for the keeper who again guessed right, and pulled of a good save, however Billy reacted quickest to the rebound and smashed home 4-0. This seemed to pick the Whirlwinds up out of the doldrums, they had put themselves in, and shortly afterwards, they broke down the left and a powerful strike by Ajiri was parried by the keeper, Jack M restored to strikers position, pounced on the rebound to finish for his hat trick 5-0. The game opened up as tired legs took there toll, but Whirlwinds couldn’t add to the score.
Scorers : Jack M (3), Oliver, Billy
Summary : A routine win, but a poor performance, very sloppy when in possession and decision making in the final third was in the most, awful. It’s a team game and too many players today played as individuals. Some positives, another clean sheet, nice to see Jack M back to scoring a hat trick, 3 good quality finishes, Ajiri’s wing play didn’t get the results it deserved.
M.O.T.M : As mentioned above Jack M scored a great hat trick and Ajiri performed well, T.J also did well getting more confident and carrying out from the back, M.O.T.M goes to Oliver, one of the few who distributed the ball well, particularly in the 2nd half when he played in a more central position.