12.45 p.m – WWFC Lions Whirlwinds 2 – 0 Bedmond Youth (Ajiri, Sam A)
A good solid start by the Whirlwinds, thoroughly dominated the game throughout. Ajiri opened the scoring on 6 minutes, with a powerful strike which seemed to go straight through the opposition ‘keeper. A couple of minutes later they doubled their lead with a beautiful lobbed finish by Sam A. Could have easily added the score with several chances going begging.
13.15 p.m – Croxley Cobras 0 – 0 WWFC Lions Whirlwinds
A 5 minute break and straight back on, again the Whirlwinds were on the front foot throughout, the opposition ‘keeper pulling off a number of excellent saves, Croxley only got anywhere near the Whirlwinds goal on one occasion and it was very quickly nullified. A combination of some fine saves and lack lustre finishing and somehow the game ended in a frustrating stalemate.
13.45 p.m – CCYCF Thunder 0-0 WWFC Lions Whirlwinds
In a tight group peppered with goalless draws, a draw in the final game would see the Whirlwinds through to the Cup knockout stage. A stiffer test this time with the opposition at least offering an attacking threat, again well handled and Cameron was never really tested, at the other end again some lack lustre finishing and good keeping kept the scoreline goalless. It was enough to win the group but really we should have been looking at three comfortable wins.
Whirlwinds finished in 1st position the group and in to the knock out cup
2.45 p.m / Cup QF – Bushey & Oxhey Hawks 1 – 2 WWFC Lions Whirlwinds (Ajiri, Sam A)
On to the semi-final, and these days the Whirlwinds are acclimatised to reaching semi’s and finals and they were calm and laid back leading up to the game. Unfortunately the laid back attitude went too far and they started the game poorly and immediately on the back foot, with Bushey first to every ball and enjoying the best of the possession, a couples of minutes in they deservedly opened the scoreline. Even this seemed not to have any effect on the Whirlwinds, didn’t really respond and Bushey continued to dominate and created a couple of half chances. A substitution and formation change, with the clock ticking down, finally the Whirlwinds burst in to life. Posing now an attacking threat Bushey stopped looking calm and composed and were now as wasteful with the ball as the Whirlwinds had been earlier, a defender got caught on the ball, it was quickly moved to Ajiri who finished with aplomb, to equalise. Whirlwinds now bombed on and were pushing for the winner, good interplay on the right and Sam A, broke free and his angled drive left the ‘keeper stranded. Just a minute or so remained, and the Whirlwinds survived a late free kick (given absolutely out of sympathy) to march on to the Semi’s.
3.35 p.m / Cup SF – CCYFC Storm 1 – 1 WWFC Lions Whirlwinds (Billy)
CCYFC Storm win 1-0 on pens
Semi final saw a match up with the home club’s top team, the week before they had added the Hertfordshire County Cup to the League & Cup double. From the kick off they moved the ball round a sleeping Whirlwinds team to open the scoring. Whirlwinds had not learned the lesson from the QF and started really sloppily, the sloppiness continued and the opposition tried to press home their advantage, a great save by Cameron kept the Whirlwinds in the game. Again a formation change proved the spark to light up the Whirwinds and they started to push forward and make a game of it. It was end to end stuff for a few minutes, Whirlwinds forced a corner, and Jake spooned over from close range. Again Whirlwinds pushed on, a good interchange of passes, fed Sam A, he looked to finish, but a great rescue challenge forced a corner. The resulting corner was driven in, bounced up off a defender, a swing and miss-kick from Ajiri, the ball broke to Billy edge of the box who smashed in to the top corner. Thirty seconds of play and the ref blew up, and on to pens.
Small goals and penalties to be taken from the edge of the box, handed the advantage to the goalkeepers. And so it prevailed, Whirlwinds tending to go for placement, missed all their penalties and the home team, managed to power just the one past Cameron who pulled off two fine saves, to win 1-0 and send the Whirlwinds home, but with heads held high.
Scorers : Ajiri (2), Sam A, (2), Billy
Summary : Wasn’t really expecting too much from this tournament, it was really just a warm up for the upcoming tournaments. Some really good attacking play, which with better finishing and quicker passing would have seen us score a lot more goals. Defensively pretty good, just a little sleepy in the opening minutes of both the QF & SF, we need to work on starting much better. However great resilience, in both games we fell behind we came back strongly to finish the games well, to get a win and salvage a credible draw. Unbeaten in 5 games, with 3 clean sheets is very positive. Well done to both Sam D & Jake, both competing in their first tournament with us.
M.O.M – Sam A, his lobbed finish in the first game was a goal of the season contender, equally his winner in the SF was a great strike at a crucial time, always looked a threat going forward.