Silverstone Racers Panthers 3 – 3 WWFC Hurricanes
Scorers: Francis, Jeremy, Rocco
H/T Score: 1 – 1
Team: Evan; Charles, Francis, Orlando, Rocco (c); Asante, Harry, Jeremy, Kamaal, Luke, Ryan; Tao, Theo
HURRICANES HELD TO DEAD HEAT IN FROZEN NORTH
Following last week’s superb win against Stony Stratford, Woburn were on the road again with a visit to Silverstone Racers Panthers. Earlier in the season the teams had played out a turbo-charged stalemate, so the return fixture looked set to be a pumped-up affair.
Leon and Andy had a full squad to choose from which would be useful on the sloping pitch with a bracing cross-wind. There was a slight delay to kick-off whilst the previous match finished as the backup referee had to arrive (the original one being unavailable). During the delay Theo’s Dad Steve kept the team moving with some additional warm-ups, whilst the other parents availed themselves of hot drinks and bacon sandwiches from the tea bar – definitely needed to stave off the Arctic temperatures.
Woburn started the game the stronger with an excellent midfield break, however Asante was unable to squeeze the ball in at the near post. They kept the pressure up and from another fast break Luke’s fierce shot was parried by the Silverstone stopper. The loose ball fell to Francis who delicately chipped the prone keeper and the ball rolled into the net. 0-1, Lions cruising, Racers in neutral.
Soon after, Silverstone won a corner which, due to the strong cross-wind, carried over all of the players and went out for a throw-in. However, the referee had spotted an infringement on the edge of the box and an indirect free kick was awarded to the home team. Woburn dealt with it comfortably but several minutes later they had more to deal with. A Racers throw-in near the corner of the penalty box was met by two players, one from each team. They both missed the ball and went down, and the referee pointed to the spot, despite no appeals from the Panthers. Evan made a valiant attempt to save the penalty but the striker had done his part and equalised. 1-1, level pegging.
Both teams were playing well and had settled into the conditions. Silverstone nearly took the lead when a strong header had to be parried by Evan, and Woburn made regular forays into the Panthers’ box, to no avail. With 10 minutes of the half remaining Woburn launched another attack, which resulted in a corner. Kamaal flashed the ball in, and following a trademark goalmouth scramble, Jeremy lashed the ball into the roof of the net. 1-2, Woburn back in the driving seat. Further joy was to follow as another Hurricanes attack was seemingly thwarted by the impressive Racers keeper, yet Rocco launched an unstoppable piledriver from fully 20 yards hard and fast into the net. 1-3, and another goal of the season contender.
Following the half-time break, Woburn looked to consolidate their lead. Rocco was subject to a late tackle and it looked like he may have to be substituted, but in true captain’s fashion he was able to soldier on. Soon after, Silverstone won a corner and in a repeat of the first half, a goalmouth scramble saw the Woburn lead halved. 2-3, great cornering again. The Panthers tails were up, and Lions were having to work hard to stay in front. Racers won a series of free-kicks (for reasons unknown to all) and one of them was from a dangerous position a few feet outside the corner of the penalty box. The Silverstone player launched the ball goalwards, over the Woburn wall and straight into the top corner. 3-3, neck and neck approaching the home straight.
To change metaphors for a minute, both teams decided to throw the kitchen sink at one another and attacks came thick and fast, However, the tiring players were unable to fashion any clear chances and the referee’s final whistle sounded with no additions to the scoreline. Once again it had proved impossible to separate these finely matched teams. Credit to Silverstone for a spirited fightback and similarly well done to Woburn for keeping their unbeaten run going into the half-term break. Next up for the Hurricanes – a return to home comforts against a team from another place rich in motoring heritage: Newport Pagnell Trojans. Could they find the winning formula? Tune in next time…