1. Cameron (GK), 2. Sam.D., 3. Billy , 4. Oakley, 5. Jack D 6. Jack C, 7. Sam.A. , 8. Jack M , 9. Ajiri, 10. Mitchel – Capt, 12. Oliver
An early morning trip up the M1 to Northampton, felt like a ‘proper’ away fixture against a team and club we have never come up against in a full size game (I think we met them in Tournament a few years back). It was shall we say a bit of a bumpy pitch, combined with a gusting wind, Whirlwinds it looked would have a stiff test to play their regular passing style.
The game started a pace, most players looked to be having a little difficulty in judging the length of their pass, Whirlwinds with the wind in their faces were at a distinct disadvantage. After a few minutes of ‘ping pong’ football, the away team started to gain control of possession and push the opposition back, a swift move down the left with Ajiri and Sam.A heavily involved, released Jack M clear on goal, he rounded the keeper, but his low shot lacked a little bit of power, and was cleared off the line by a covering defender. Spurred on by this early opportunity, Whirlwinds forced the home team in to some last ditch defending, as they struggled to keep a clean sheet in tact, a scramble in the box saw one shot legitimately blocked, the second follow up was blocked with an outstretched arm and the referee awarded a penalty. Our penalty record this season can only be described as abysmal, Mitchel the captain has for several weeks begged to take a penalty, so today he stepped up. He placed the ball and made his run up, but was stopped by the referee, so turned back and started again, his shot was well struck, but at a nice height and close enough to the ‘keeper for him to make a comfortable enough save, the search for a regular penalty taker goes on ! This gave the home side a lift, and they started to take a little more advantage of the conditions, some long goal kicks and clearances from their own half tested the Whirlwinds down both flanks, they were in the most kept at bay, but a few corners caused some pressure, shooting was kept at pretty much long range, in those conditions could have been a real threat, but Cameron dealt with everything fairly comfortably, Whirlwinds threatened on the counter and carved out a couple really good opportunities, but a couple of good saves and goal line clearances kept the home team in the game, half time approached and it looked like a goalless first half, but the classic sucker punch, Whirlwinds lost the ball in a comfortable central position which left the defence for once exposed, a ball out wide wasn’t quickly pressed which allowed a low cross to be swept home 1-0. Whirlwinds responded well but couldn’t quite turn possession in to a clear cut chance.
Half time team talk was very positive, again we were ruing missed opportunities, but in general we had defended well and should be clearly ahead. 2nd half the conditions we in our favour and we should use this to put some pressure on the opposition early on.
The 2nd half kicked off with the away side in the ascendancy, however they struggled even more with the conditions, and the final ball was often over hit, and ran through to the goalkeeper. The times they did get it right, and broke through the defensive line, was being met with a flag by an over zealous linesman. Who’m I don’t think knew the rules, as 3 or 4 times the player receiving the ball wasn’t in an offside position, but the flag was waved for player in an offside position, who wasn’t interfering with play, a difficult call to make, but some were so clear that his lack of knowledge of the rules, could be the only reason to explain the decisions. Whirlwinds, understandbly, were getting frustrated, and this echoed in their play, ball retention wasn’t great, which allowed the opposition the occasional foray, however they never really threatened to add to their lead. With less than a quarter of the game left, Sam.A picked the ball up on the left touchline, he turned inside, skipped passed a challenge then held another off, a full 20 metres out, unleashed a looping shot that sailed over the goalkeeper and in, a quality strike and a richly deserved equaliser 1-1. The goal sent confidence swirling around the away side, another great move down the right led to Jack M. picking up the ball in the box, side stepping the keeper, but his shot hit the side netting with the goal at his mercy. The resulting goal kick was intercepted by Sam.A, running threateningly at goal, he was scythed down by a desperate defender. He picked himself of and again over 20 metres out from goal in a position just right of centre, a Beckamesque curling free kick swept passed the wall, the ‘Keeper just stood and watched in nestle in the top corner, if his first goal was a great strike, this one was even better, 1-2. Whirlwinds were now in full stride and were determined to finish the game off. To be fair the home team dug-in and tried to battle, but couldn’t get out of their half, pressed back and struggling against a gusting wind, they were finding the 2nd half much tougher than the 1st. Again a surge down the right saw a chipped pass turn the home defence Sam.A burst through, a touch to bring the ball under control, and a half volley flew past the keeper 1-3, and a fantastic way to grab his hatrick. With the result now not in doubt Whirlwinds relaxed, and comfortably saw the game out, to record a confidence boosting victory.
Goals Sam A. (3)
Summary – Tough conditions, but the effort and commitment to not concede goals in the first half, built the platform for the second, with a bit better finishing the game would have been put to bed much earlier. Delighted to see the work we have doing in training, is transferring to the pitch, however we are still switching off at times in games, so concentration levels need to improve a little. Really well done, and gives us a lift coming in to a tough run of league fixtures after the Easter break.
M.O.M – There can only be one winner – Sam.A, I don’t think you will see a better hatrick at any level of the game, three quality strikes and also his work rate, and positional understanding were faultless. Special mention to Oliver who has really taken onboard the defensive elements of the game and worked really hard for the team.
Squad : Cameron, Jack C, Billy, Oliver, Sam A, Jack M, Jack D, Ajiri
Finished 4th in the group after some patchy form gave us 4 wins and 3 defeats in the group stage. Qualified for the Cup competition.
Finishing 4th meant in the Quarter final we faced the most difficult opponents the winners of the other group, who had won 6 and drew 1 of their games conceding just 1 goal in the process. Fortunately we saved our best form until the latter stages and comprehensively beat them 3-0, and that scoreline flattered the opposition, could have been 6 or 7.
After a bit of a delay on to the Semi Final, facing a team who had beaten us in the group stages, they met a different Whirlwinds this time and again we dominated the game, this time we couldn’t quite click in front of goal, the keeper pulling of some outstanding saves, at the the other end Jack C deputising in goal, didn’t have a moment of any concern, one long shot which he comfortably dealt with, extra time continued the same way but still somehow the game ended in a 0-0 draw and on to the dreaded penalties. Both teams scored their first 3, whirlwinds missed their 4th, the opposition scored their 4th, whirlwinds scored their 5th, the opposition missed their 5th, sudden death and the whirlwinds missed, the opposition stepped up and despite a valiant attempt by Jack C in goal to keep it out, they scored. Whirlwinds lost 5-4 on penalties and were out.
Summary: Played some terrific football at times in the group stages, but littered with inconsistency which meant we just scraped through. Terrific performances in both the Quarter & Semi Final, we just couldn’t quite get over the line and didn’t deserve to go out so cruelly.
Scorers : Sam A (5), Jack M (4), Ajiri (1)
Player of the tournament : Jack C, calm in defence and relaxed in distribution and then stepped up when his team needed him by deputising in goal
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.
6 a -side tournament
Saturday 6th of June – Morning Only – Please meet for 8.45 a.m
Pixmore Playing Fields (Opposite) Letchworth Leisure Centre, Baldock Road, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 2ER
Squad : Cameron, Jack C, Oliver, Jake, Sam A, Jack M, Oakley, Ajiri
Contribution of £4.00 per player to cover entry cost
Parking is £1.00 per car and dogs are allowed on site
Willen World Cup – 6 a side tournament
Squad : Cameron, Jack C, Billy, Sam A, Jack M, Oliver, Ajiri, Jake
Contribution of £4.00 per player to cover the entry fee
Saturday the 11th of July – All Day, cup and plate format
Please meet for 8.30 a.m, first games start at 9.00 a.m, allow 10/15 minutes to get parked and walk across from the school to the pitches, so aim to arrive for 8.15/20 a.m.
Parking : Willen School, Beaufort Drive, Willen, Milton Keynes, MK15 9HN, you will need to pay £2/3 to park
Whirlwinds : Cameron, Jack C, Billy, Sam A, Jack M, Oliver, Thomas
Tornadoes : Nathan, Oakley, Sam D, Jake, Jack D, Tao, Ryan, Freddie
£2.00 per player contribution to cover the entrance fee
U11 Age group is the morning of Saturday the 4th of July at Crawley Road, Woburn
Whirlwinds first game kicks off at 9.00 a.m, please arrive for 8.15 a.m to allow enough time to get in and parked
Tornadoes first game kicks off at 9.30 a.m, please arrive for 8.30 a.m to allow enough time to get in and parked
Whirlwinds Fixtures – Pitch 1
9.00 a.m | WWFC Whirlwinds vs Two Mile Ash Dragons Whites
10.00 a.m | WWFC Whirlwinds vs Tattenhoe Youth Tigers
10.30 a.m | Roman Rangers Sky Blue vs WWFC Whirlwinds
11.30 a.m | Wootton Rangers Youth vs WWFC Whirlwinds
12.00 p.m | WWFC Whirlwinds vs Tattenhoe FC
Semi Finals/Final held at 1.30 & 2 p.m respectively
Tornadoes Fixtures – Pitch 3
9.30 a.m | WWFC Tornadoes vs Two Mile Ash Dragons Terriers
10.15 a.m | Roman Rangers Blue vs WWFC Tornadoes
10.45 a.m | WWFC Tornadoes vs Hercules Lions
11.15 a.m | Tattenhoe Youth Panthers vs WWFC Tornadoes
12.00 p.m | Two Mile Ash Dragons Blue vs WWFC Tornadoes
Semi Finals/Final held at 1.30 & 2 p.m respectively
1. Cameron, 2. Sam.D., 3. Billy, 4. Oakley, 5. Jack D, 6. Jack C, 7. Sam.A., 8. Jack M, 10. Mitchel – Capt , 12. Oliver , 14. Jake
Today marked our first appearance in the top division of the league.
Pre-match talk was about players raising their levels, we knew it would be a tough test, having faced Oakley just a few months prior and losing just, by the only goal of the game. We knew they were very good at moving the ball around and we wanted to press high, in combinations of 2 and 3, to try and break up their play.
The game started and Oakley pressed from the off, after just a minute or so a poor goal kick and defensive cover was punished and we found ourselves an early goal down. Oakley never let up and carried on attacking just a few minutes later some weak defending combined with some tricky wing play allowed a cross from the right to be smartly finished. Whirlwinds were in tatters, unable to get to grips with a marauding Oakley who weren’t going to let up. Several more warning shots were fired, which Cameron dealt with well, alas a darting forward was upended on the edge of the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot, thankfully the penalty wasn’t the best and Cameron gathered comfortably. This finally seemed to spark Whirlwinds in to life and they started to compete and even create a couple of scoring opportunities, alas they couldn’t take them, Oakley still looked dangerous but were largely restricted to long range shots which Cameron dealt with fairly comfortably.
Half time and a chance to re-group, it could have been a lot worse, the first 15 minutes were as poor as we had played for many a year, and failure to capatilise on chances created, did nothing to lift the mood. Team talk was about our failure to keep the ball when we had possession at the back, either giving directly away from goal kicks, mostly caused by the strange shape we seemed to be adopting (confused I think by having to take kicks from the edge of the penalty area) and then when we did gain possession just giving it straight back to the opposition. The next goal was really important, and for 10 minutes in the second half we seem to match the opposition and make a game of it, sadly Oakley scored really good third goal, almost immediately after, a silly rash challenge ended the game as a contest, the ref at the time we thought, fortunately deemed to be on the line (it was inside the box and a penalty) the free kick was then dispatched with great aplomb. Heads went down, desperation set in, and error after error after error was gleefully accepted and punished by a blood thirsty opposition. It was a massacre, 9-0 it finished and in 5 years, absolutely the worst performance from a Whirlwinds team.
Summary : A day to be forgotten or remembered ? For me it should be remembered, a harsh lesson that we need to learn from, it won’t get any easier in this division, and if we don’t learn from this then we will suffer further and further in the coming weeks and months. Fortunately the boys seemed to take it well, there were jokes and smiles at the end and I think they knew they had let themselves down, we will work on the basic errors in training this week and hopefully, give us a better platform going forward.
M.O.M : It was a difficult day, special mention to Cameron who under constant pressure did pull off a string of fine saves, we spoke about raising levels and all players apart from one, were way below their usual level, the one who did raise his level is Sam D, well done Sam and something to build on.
After the mauling the week before it was back to action for the Whirlwinds away against FC Leighton Colts, on a very bumpy pitch, but it’s the same for both sides !
Whirlwinds started a little nervously gifting possession away in the early exchanges, which was a major contributing factor in our previous game. However thankfully after a few minutes they settled in well, and no damage was inflicted by the opposition. A midweek drilling on goal kicks was working well, and the composure and confidence came flooding back. Some terrific link up play in midfield and attack, saw the Whirlwinds dominate for long periods and create a few half chances, but were just closed out in front of goal. A great move from midfield to attack saw Sam A. open up the defence with his quick feet, and smash home 0-1, it was very well deserved and really on the balance of play Whirlwinds should have been 2-3 goals clear. Leighton responded well and came back in to the game with some nice football, but attacks were in the main well dealt with. Leighton launched a quick counter attack, for once the Whirlwinds defence lost shape and Leighton exploited the gap to finish 1-1. The game was then an even contest as Leighton gained some confidence after getting a foothold in the game, Cameron pulling off one fine stop and Whirlwinds not really penetrating as well as they had earlier. Leighton grabbed another goal after a wicked deflection left the keeper stranded 2-1, half time approached and the Whirlwinds got back in control of the game and were pressing for an equaliser.
Half time team talk, praised the possession football we played in the first 20 minutes which saw us well on top, but we needed to tighten up a little defensively because both goals came from a lack of concentration and positioning at the back. The second half started the as complete opposite to the first, Whirlwinds were on the back foot and Leighton buoyed by their bit of good fortune, and also not being further behind after the start they made, now in control and Whirlwinds couldn’t seem to get going again. Sadly again some bad organisation and lack of concentration lead to a corner being converted at the near post 3-1. A few minutes later, another shot took a wicked deflection and looped in 4-1, the 5th soon followed again from a defensive mistake 5-1, lesson’s not learn’t from the last corner resulted in a headed goal from the near post 6-1. It was an England Cricket Team style collapse. To their credit heads never went down and Whirlwinds for the last ten minutes got going and again started to come back in the game, a fantastic through ball found Oliver break free and his pace took him away from the defenders, with two supporting players square, he decided to shoot from the edge of the box and the ball flew past keeper in to the bottom corner, a superb finish, 6-2. Only a couple of minutes remained and although on top Whirlwinds just couldn’t manage to close the gap further.
Summary : Really pleasing to see the things we worked on in training transferred to the pitch, distribution from the back was so much improved, unrecognisable from the previous week. First 20 minutes of the game we were back to our best. Unfortunately the first half was over shadowed by the 2nd half defensive collapse, some individual errors but also a lack of cover from midfield put us under a lot of pressure, and we paid the price. We did move a lot of players around today and this was contributing factor, but in friendlies we need to try and test things out, and we hope players will learn and develop from trying to play in some different positions.
MO.M – Special mention to Cameron who nailed his distribution and really took the advice on board and implemented it on the pitch, but M.O.M goes to Sam A, who was real threat to the opposition whenever he was on the pitch.