Squad : Cameron, Mitchel (Capt), Oakley, Jack C, Sam D, Ajiri, Billy, Sam A, Joe, Jack M
With several players attending a school open morning, today saw our first ever afternoon fixture, it did feel a little surreal and a few of the team mentioned beforehand that it felt ‘weird’ playing in an afternoon. Pre-match briefing focused on getting back to passing the ball better and retaining possession, which has not been to our usual standard thus far this season.
The game started with the ‘Whirlwinds, focused and moving the ball around crisply. Tattenhoe were being pegged back with Joe & Ajiri in particular having a major impact on the flanks. Whirlwinds defenders looked calm and assured and dealt with the occasional raid comfortably. With a third of the half gone, a smart through ball from Sam A, was latched on to by Ajiri who smashed a left foot strike in to the bottom corner 1-0. Whirlwinds now looked hungry, dominating in midfield and pinning Tattenhoe back, a great run and cross from Joe found Sam A arriving in the box to finish 2-0. Tattenhoe looked shell shocked and Whirlwinds quickly added a third with another fine strike from left by Ajiri 3-0. Tattenhoe picked themselves up off the floor and started to compete in midfield, and apply a little more pressure on the until then, largely unruffled Whirlwinds back three. A free kick on the edge of our own box was wasted and possession gifted to the opposition, a super strike from all of 20 metres screamed past Cameron’s despairing dive and nestled in the top corner 3-1. Whirlwinds responded immediately, Sam A pouncing to rob a midfielder to charge forward and apply a great finish to make it 4-1. Tattenhoe refused to lie down and buoyed by their earlier goal were making more of a game of it now, there were some hefty challenges going in, and the game was turning in to a physical contest. Whirlwinds stood up well and a speedy counter attack saw Ajiri burst through to finish again in the bottom corner 5 – 1. Tattenhoe now looked in pieces clearly not used to being on the end of such a thumping, they reverted to trying to make the game a physical battle, lots of over zealous tackling, one particularly heavy challenge saw Ajiri withdrawn from the action. Tattenhoe continued to try and stop Whirlwinds playing and a lot was let go or missed by the referee who was under pressure from the opposition supporters, questioning every decision. Tattenhoe pulled another back after breaching the Whirlwinds defence but the final touch was applied in an offside position, a decision which went against us 5-2. The last couple of minutes were largely fought out in central midfield.
Half time team talk praised the football Whirlwinds played but warned against complacency and to expect a different second half. Tattenhoe came out and played in the same style as they finished the 1st, trying to turn the game in to a physical battle, regrettably the opposition supporters continued also to question the referee’s and linesman’s decisions, which disappointingly went completely unchecked by the opposition coaches and officials. The second half followed a regular pattern Tattenhoe applying physical pressure in midfield and launching high balls into the Whirlinds keeper at every opportunity, with the Whirlwinds looking dangerous on the counter. Halfway through the half a free kick loaded in to the box was only half cleared and then stabbed home by a Tattenhoe attacker 5-3. Whirlwinds now started to dig in and compete, still looking dangerous on the counter and largely kept Tattenhoe at arms length, although Cameron had to pull off once smart save when an attacker eventually found some space in the box to get a shot off. Sam D came on to add some defensive solidity and the Whirlwinds comfortably saw out the final minutes. A good win which saw us go to the top of the league.
Summary : A game of two halves, our footballing ability saw us dominate the first half, credit to Tattenhoe who showed resilience and we had to dig in and battle out the second half to see the game out.
Scorers : Ajiri (3), Sam A (2)
MOM : Sam A, a much more disciplined performance from midfield, moving the ball better and providing attacking support, rewarded with two goals.