The Lions Den
We were back at our home ground of Aspley but strangely enough this match was against W&W Lions Whirlwinds who we share the ground with so both team had the home advantage.
There was a strange tension in the air as both sets of players were familiar to each other (being from the same club and School) and you could already sense that a few of our players were nervous.
The game started at an electrifying pace, with both team’s quick to close down and trying to dictate play, a Whirlwinds player called Iyanu was set to make the difference as a long ball was played over our defence and as our keeper ran out to clear his line, Iyanu got to it first and it was 1 – 0 to the Whirlwinds.
The game got very physical early on with both sets of teams closing down quickly and after 3 minutes we found ourselves 2 – 0 down after a mix up in defence the same player was through again – his speed was difficult to stop.
5 minutes – Zac raced pass the Whirlwinds fullback and had the option to play in Owen but shot just wide.
7 minutes – Zac got in behind the defence again but his effort was off target.
13 minutes in we found ourselves 3-0 down after a very good corner routine and the Whirlwinds were firmly on top.
Ciaran pulled off save after save to keep the team in the game as Iyanu was still trying to add to his tally.
21 minutes – The boys were trying to get back on top but morale was low, it was at this point after some nice play that Zac beat the rightback to score from a very acute angle and made it 3-1.
Thomas came off the bench for Kam and George dropped into rightback
24 mins – Whirlwinds were trying to find a reply to Zacs goal and Thomas cleared a very good attempt off the line.
25 mins – Kam was back on for George and Georgio on for Alex. Kam was shutting up shop at right back and Lewis was starting to do the same at left back.
29 mins – Ciaran pulls off a great save to deny Iyanu from point blank range as he ran down the middle of the defence after the fullbacks were giving him no space.
32 mins – Thomas looks up and from 30 yards out and with an audacious effort succeeds in lobbing the Whirlwind keeper only to see it go wide of the goal – That was Close!!
35 mins – Zacs through again with Owen waiting for a tap in, Zac shoots and drags the shot slightly wide. Owen unlucky not to receive the pass as surely would have put that away.
HALF TIME WHISTLE
The boys were exhausted but had battled well to come back from such a slow start, we discussed what needed to be done and before time was up we re-entered the field.
48 mins – Dom through on goal but unfortunately hit his shot straight at the keeper, Georgio and Ethan were now linking up well in the middle of the park and starting to win the ball and dictate the tempo.
55 mins – both teams were battling well and our defence were holding the line far better and stopping the long balls coming in. Ben in particular heading a dangerous looking ball clear.
56 mins – a mix up in defence and Iyanu was through again hitting the post. He really was making the difference and was the player causing all the damage.
57 mins – Caluum comes on for Owen.
62 mins – After a lot of running, Dom comes off for a well-earned rest with Eddie replacing him in right midfield.
30 seconds later a long ball smash from the Whirlwinds defence falls to Iyanu and this time he makes no mistake and its 4 -1.
From the centre, Zac looks up and the Whirlwinds Goal Keeper is back off his line, Zac shoots from just inside the half and very much like Beckham lobbed the keeper to make it 4 -2.
67 mins – Eddie nearly gets the ball in the back of the net but the Whirlwind keeper does well to come of his line and clear the attempt.
68 mins – Alex came back onto Georgio.
69 mins – Stephen came on for Ethan.
70 mins – A mix up in defence meant that Iyanu was through on goal again leaving Ciaran with no chance and it was 5 – 2.
Ben went off and George dropped into defence, but straight away in Midfield we lost the ball and it was a flattering 6 – 2 to whirlwinds, courtesy of Iyanu again.
With only minutes on the clock Iyanu went off to a well-deserved round of applause from both fans and he really did have a game to remember today.
The final whistle went and everyone shook hands – I feel that the score line was flattering but the win was deserved by the Whirlwinds who got the long ball tactics spot on and a very fast and strong player made the difference on the day – I’m sure this young individual will score many more in this division.
In hindsight I thought the boys battled very well and many left the pitch exhausted as they pressed and pushed to get back into the game, we were let down by the fact that we lost our formation and need to work on our tactics for dealing with this type of player.
All the boys should be extremely proud of their performance and the score line was very flattering but they were made to pay for a slow start.
We will learn from this game and our boys showed great character.
WOBURN WIN WITH STYLE AND SWAGGER
This week Woburn & Wavendon Lions Hurricanes were back at Crawley Road, due to their home ground being unavailable. The pitch was in great condition and looked like an excellent surface to play on.
Both Teams were very quick out of the blocks, real end to end stuff and the game was being played at a frantic pace. Owen had the opportunity to open the scoring up in the first five minutes but the keeper pulled off a very important save.
Flitwick got through on goal but only to see Kieran just pluck the ball out of the air, again and again Flitwick tried long balls, crosses, through balls but Kieran ,or Manuel Neuer as he should be known, simply dealt with everything they could throw at him.
Owen, Zac and Dom were all starting to make things tick up front whilst Alex and Ethan were starting to really pull the strings in Midfield, the style and swagger was starting to show. The football was fast, passing crisp and the Flitwick Keeper did really well to keep out an audacious shot from Owen (I could go on to explain it in detail – but I wouldn’t do it justice…. Dennis Bergkamp springs to mind).
The breakthrough came not long afterwards when, following a mix up in the Flitwick Eagles defence the ball was played to Zac who unleashed a volley that left the Keeper no chance. 1-0 to the Lions!! (19 Mins)
Flitwick Eagles started to mount various attacks but John, Ben, Kam and Lewis were pressing well and started to stamp authority at the back. It was now 10 minutes from half time and Zac came off for a well-deserved rest with Callum replacing him.
Callum full of energy was pressing high and almost got on the score sheet himself.
Dom was the next player rested as Eddie came off the bench and battled extremely well doing an excellent job of steadying up the midfield. We continued to mount attack after attack.
Half Time: Hurricanes Lions 1 v 0 Flitwick Eagles
Changes were made at half time with Zac and Dom coming back on for Callum and Eddie and within minutes there was a goal mouth scramble in our box as Flitwick stormed forward for the equalizer. We managed to clear but it wasn’t long before Flitwick were looking again, it was at this point that John ran the ball out of defence like Sergio Ramos and delivered the ball to George.
George battled well in midfield and we were dominating the game, Kam and Lewis came up to support with John and Ben and this would be the last time Flitwick would come into our half of the pitch.
The tempo was being dictated by us, Lewis and Dom started to link up down the right hand side and Woburn weren’t giving Flitwick a sniff at goal with the midfield of Ethan and Alex creating chances for the front players. The ball falls to Dom after he screams that its his and its… 2-0! (51 Mins)
Centre was taken and 30 seconds later we had the ball back in our possession after Lewis had raced forward, won the ball and just like Bale, he raced forward leaving players in his wake.
After working our way through the Flitwick defence the keeper rushes out to claim the ball but Zac pulled off a Di Maria like Chip and its 3-0 !! (52 Mins)(The Celebration was as good as the goal as he raced over to join the parents in clapping his own finish).
George is subbed for Will and Stephen came on for Alex and a typical well timed tackle from John sets up another attack and then Owen controls the ball in the box and gets a shot away at goal.
Eddie and Callum are reintroduced as we look to seal the win, we are still dominating play and the ball was being won by us all over the pitch. Will was doing his best to clear the ball and keep the clean sheet and Lewis and Kam continued to be an extra attacking threat.
A flowing piece of play between Stephen and Ethan (now in full Özil mode) beating multiple players down the right wing brings play to a close and its handshakes all round at the end of another fine team performance.
MOTM: LEWIS – great defending and attacking play from a young man bang on form!