Moretonville Juniors Hurricanes 1 – 4 WWFC Hurricanes
Scorers: Tao (2), Asante (2)
H/T Score: 3 – 0
Team: Evan, Luke; Charles, Freddie, Orlando, Rocco (c), Ryan; Asante, Francis, Harry, Joe; Tao
CLASH OF THE HURRICANES
With two wins so far, the Lions fielded a full squad for their third league match away to the other Hurricanes, Moretonville Juniors. Moretonville started this season with a new squad after a turbulent end to the last. Their previous coach had left at Christmas and took many players with him to his next club. However all was not lost – two teams amalgamated to form the Moretonville Hurricanes. These guys had lost their first two league matches and had only been training and playing together as a team for five weeks. The Lions should find this one easy, right? WRONG!?!!
The Lions opened the game with the following line-up:
Charles Rocco Ryan
Asante Tao Harry
The home team started quickly, with the opening minutes played in the Woburn half. While they may be a young side, Moretonville had very capable players. Linking up at speed, the attacking midfielder (no. 10) and their Captain up front (no. 4) orchestrated the attacks and soon a battle ensued with the Captain being checked repeatedly by Rocco’s trademark strength and determination. In fact the Lions’ back three worked extremely well during the opening onslaught and continued to do so throughout the match.
At last the Lions attacked – a long clearance from Charles, forwarded by Francis for a beautifully slight touch from Joe, deflected the ball into Tao’s path. Sadly Tao was off balance on the uneven pitch and the shot lacked his usual power. The home team’s next attack was thwarted by a solid tackle from Ryan and his clearance covered half the pitch in a strong cross wind. It found Tao with only one defender to beat and a strong finish top right for the first goal of the match. 0-1, and it was end-to-end stuff!
Good chest control and a long range pass from Charles forced a Lions corner. Shortly after, Harry ran the ball down the wing and crossed to an unmarked Asante whose unhurried volley over the keeper’s head doubled the lead. 0-2 and the Lions were purring.
It is important to note that after each Lions goal, gutsy Moretonville came back hard and fast. Within seconds of the game restarting, they were back in the Lions’ box. The Woburn back three were equal to the task on this occasion but the scoreline felt anything but comfortable. Before long, Joe intercepted a Moretonville ball and launched it up front and into space. Tao took the ball at speed with only one defender to beat and finished in convincing style for his second of the match.
0-3, and maybe now the match would settle? No – the momentum was maintained with the inevitable Moretonville reply checked by Charles, passed to Joe, out to Asante whose shot was eventually held by the Moretonville keeper under pressure from Tao.
Throughout the half Luke had been busy, with several interceptions and also a punch clear from the goal. Seconds before the whistle, he stopped another Moretonville attack, this time coming out of his area to intercept a long ball intended for their no. 4. Once again, great reading of the game and courageous play from Luke.
With the end of the first half and three goals in the bag, the lead position still felt far from safe.
The second half started with Evan in goal, Freddie and Orlando replacing Ryan and Charles at the back, Luke joining Joe in midfield and Francis replacing Harry on the wing.
From the outset, Orlando checked several left wing attacks in quick succession, the second of which he followed with a long, low ball along the line to Asante. Asante unleashed a rocket at an awkward angle, only for it to hit the post. Shortly after they linked up again, with Asante and Luke exchanging passes before Asante rifled a chance into the side netting. As ever, Moretonville were straight back at the Lions and Evan had to pluck a high shot out of the air.
Leon and Andy then made further tactical changes, with Joe off, Harry back on the wing and Francis back in central midfield.
Soon after, Asante thought that he had scored again but his celebrations were cut short as he had been offside. Further Moretonville attacks led to a dangerous scramble in the Lions’ goal mouth before Francis cleared and set Luke away, but the counter-attack was well-defended. The ebb and flow continued with neither team looking obviously like victors or vanquished.
Meanwhile, Freddie was having a great battle with the Moretonville no. 4. He repelled several advances and cleared a dangerous shot on goal taken after their captain had already beaten three Lions and reached the box. Their next attack was a long ball to two Moretonville players on the edge of the Lions’ area. This time Evan rushed off his line and dived onto the ball amongst Moretonville boots, only just inside his area – both Lions keepers displaying courage and confidence.
There followed a short break in play as Rocco was treated after falling hard in a tackle with the home team’s no. 10. A nervous few minutes went by before our Captain was on his feet again, and it was good to see the sportsmanship exhibited by the Moretonville side as they ensured that he was okay before continuing.
An Evan goal kick found Orlando who yet again provided Asante with a quality ball to run onto and he shot low, hard and left for his second goal. 0-4, and there was now no coming back. However the inevitable home side counter culminated in another Lions goal mouth scramble and a shot over the bar. Although the Lions were 4-0 up, this did not reflect the tempo of the match nor the fight left in the home side. A last minute Moretonville long ball found its intended team mate and the home team scored a consolation with only 30 seconds remaining. 1-4, and it was all over.
As the final whistle sounded, the five week old Moretonville Hurricanes could be proud of their fight and the sportsmanship they brought to the contest and the Lions could be proud of a job well done. While the Woburn forwards had played well and delivered some great goals, the Lions’ defensive superiority was where this game was won.
Next up, a home match versus the unbeaten Bletchley Juniors Vipers – bring your ‘A’ game!