First league game of the season after last weeks postponed fixture.
Whirlwinds started really sloppilly, a heavy touch in the centre of their own half led to Oakley breaking through, thankfully the Strikers touch was just as bad and the ball ran through to Dom in goal. It was a let off, for the first 10 minutes the home side were disorganised a lack of any communication leading to dissarray when not in possession. Gradually they pulled themselves together, but Oakley were threatening the home goal, with Dom pulling off one fine save to keep the scores level. Whirlwinds intensity wasn’t good enough at this level, they were second to every loose ball and Oakley midfielders rarely came under any pressure, given the freedom of the pitch to pass and move.
Oakley were pretty dominant, a long range free kick bouncing off the top of the bar, but Dom seemed to have it covered, at the other end the home side were restricted to a couple of long range shots. For all Oakley’s dominance, the home side were organised enough behind the ball, Oakley were finding it difficult to create any chances, they did look a threat from set pieces as they towered over the home side. 5 minutes to half time, a free kick took a deflection of a Whirlwinds head and landed kindly to an Oakley attacker, right side of the goal 8 yeards out, he tucked it away, on balance Oakley deserved it.
Second half got underway with the words ringing in the home side’s ears about the lack of intensity particularly in midfield, and the innability to keep the ball for more than two passes. However those words seemed to fall on deaf ears, as the game followed much the pattern of the first half, certainly for the 10/15 minutes it was a bit of a stalemate, Oakley enjoying plenty of possesion, but Whirlwinds defensively organised not allowing any path way to goal.
After a volley from the side lines, the home side upped their intensity, started to win midfield battles, found each other with passes and started to enjoy more success. They were more dominant and the game was now largely played in Oakely’s half. Chances were few and far between, Sam & Callum both having shots on target, which were well dealt with by the Oakley GK. There were robust challenges going in, and both sides could count themselves a little fortunate not to recieve further punishment from the Referee.
It felt like the home side would eventually create something and they did, Callum and Sam combined with Jake who found Ellis, he dropped his shoulder and sent to two players the wrong way, cut back on his left and drilled a low cross, which Ibu stretched got the faintest of touches, less than a foot from the goaline the ball just flicked his outstretched toe and somehow went wide of the post. Oakley dug deep pulled up the drawbridge leaving one up, everyone else camped in their half, they saw the game out, to come away with all three points. Probably just about deserved in the end.
P.O.T.M: Archie – really worked hard and was soild as the last line of defence.
Summary: For two thirds of the game, the home side didn’t show enough intensity to compete at this level, the last third of the game was much better, higher intensity allowed more possession and thus more territorial dominance.