WWFC Hurricanes 0 – 4 MK Gallacticos Spartans
H/T Score: 0 – 3
Team: Evan; Charles, Francis, Freddie, Rocco (c); Asante, Harry, Jeremy, Kamaal, Luke, Ryan; Tao
WOBURN SHUT OUT BY SPARTANS
Woburn & Wavendon Hurricanes returned to Crawley Road for another home match in their Division Two campaign, this time against arguably the team to beat – MK Gallacticos. The team in green had won their first 8 matches, and were looking formidable in their quest to climb the league ladder to the top. However, they had suffered a reverse against Harrold & Carlton last week, so the Hurricanes hoped to shake off their own defeat to Brickhill Wanderers with a win.
The warm morning sun provided a welcome change from recent cold starts, although the usual joy of setting up the pitch was tempered somewhat. Sadly, it would appear that some local skinflints had attempted to grab an early parking spot for the Woburn tournament (2nd and 3rd July folks), before realising the error of their ways. Fortunately, they had only driven over part of the pitch, so the game could go ahead with no disruption. If anyone has any information on who may have perpetrated this, please phone the SR Nova Hotline.
Leon and Andy had a full squad except Orlando and Theo to choose from, and settled on a familiar line-up with two at the back, holding midfielder and one up front. Gallacticos started the game strongly, with a number of probing runs and darting moves, nevertheless Woburn held out well, without creating much of their own. However, ten minutes in and the away team made the breakthrough, as their right winger reached the byline and pulled the ball back for the no. 18 to slide the ball home. 0-1, Woburn with work to do. They looked to make an instant response, Luke teeing up Jeremy whose turn and shot was gathered by the Gallacticos keeper, however the referee had blown for handball. Soon the Gallacticos doubled their lead midway through the half – a ball over the top saw a smart turn and finish. 0-2, Woburn wobbling.
Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, worse was to come as Rocco had to go off with a head injury following a strong challenge. However this gave Kamaal a chance to help shore up the midfield. Woburn gradually fought their way back into the game, Harry‘s fine ball picking out Jeremy who forced a save for a corner. Gallacticos retaliated and a snap shot from the edge of the area forced a great save from Evan low down to his left. The final few minutes of the half were now end-to-end, as the Hurricanes looked to nick one back before the break. Jeremy and Kamaal combined well but were unlucky not to force a corner. Then, Gallacticos forged a break of their own, with the no. 18 again causing havoc down the flanks – his whipped in ball diverted into the net for an own goal. 0-3, harsh on the Hurricanes.
Tao replaced Harry, and was instantly in the thick of it up front, holding the ball up and fending off some robust challenges from the MK back line. There was nearly a comedy moment as a Charles clearance hit the corner flag and stayed on the pitch. The referee signalled play to continue while both teams stared at the ball, clearly mesmerised by this sorcery. However, they emerged from their reverie and Evan claimed the ball with a smart stop. He then demonstrated his kicking ability, sending the ball to Jeremy who laid it off to Kamaal. His super through-ball to Asante looked to be timed to perfection, but as the Bedfordshire Neymar slotted home the linesman’s flag was raised for offside. The half-time whistle blew, and the players got the breather they deserved.
Woburn knew that they would have to produce a remarkable comeback to get something from the game, and they started quickly. Kamaal played a superb ball around the corner and Tao was almost in, but the quick defender managed to turn the ball away for a corner, which came to nothing. Soon after, Evan’s long goal kick reached Asante who crossed the ball in. Luke flicked on to Jeremy but his effort was just over. Several minutes later and this time it was Tao’s through-ball which reached Asante and his first-time shot but the keeper pulled off a great save.
The Hurricanes had certainly had the better chances of the first part of this half. Francis showed good strength to hold off a Gallacticos player who had to bring him down to break up an attack – the resulting free-kick by Kamaal was unlucky not to reduce the deficit. Ryan also looked to get in on the act but was unable to get his shot on target as Hurricanes peppered the goal, albeit from distance. Not only were Woburn attacking with more intent, but also defending stoutly – Freddie produced a good tackle to thwart one of the rare MK attacks. However, with only 10 minutes left, time was running out. Another Woburn break saw Asante’s shot parried and Tao was unlucky not to poke home as once again desperate defending kept the Lions at bay. Once again Freddie kept the scores at 0-3 with another super tackle, and soon after Gallacticos broke again but shot wide.
It looked as if the game would peter out with no further addition to the scoreline but just before the end, Gallacticos’ big no. 15 added a final goal. 0-4, final score.
Credit must go to the Gallacticos who showed touches and finesse worthy of a top team, but also Woburn whose performance on another day could have, and probably should have, gained them more from the game. Next up, another home game against Linslade Galaxy Rio before the Easter break – could the Hurricanes blow away the March cobwebs with a win? Tune in soon to find out…