WHIRLWINDS FALL IN EPIC ELEVEN GOAL CUP THRILLER
After a summer full off new signings the U14 Whirwind squad look in great shape and after a comfortable pre-season friendly win they set about the first ‘competitive’ fixture of the season in the League Cup away at Water Eaton.
Water Eaton enjoyed a strong season in Division One last time out and also showed their strength at numerous summer tournamants, so this was always going to be a stern test.
The boys looked very at ease as the game started and it couldn’t get much better for the Division Two flag bearers when a strong drive into the opposition box from the mighty Cerrone earned them the first spoils of the game after just 1 minute and 40 seconds!
With Water Eaton clearly shocked, the boys pressed on and the pace and power of Iyanu collected another after just 3 minutes. Well this was good and confidence held strong as they fizzed the ball about and continued to look for a third, and what may have been a killer goal.
But it wasn’t going to be so easy. A very unfortunate penalty was conceded and despite a strong hand from H we were now 2-1 and Water Eaton looked to push on.
And that they did. On 29 minutes, the very quick Water Eaton attack unlocked the Whirwinds defence and slammed in a mighty shot past H. 2-2
In seasons gone by we may have seen the Whirlwinds wobble a bit now, but not today. Re-foccused and doubling their efforts Iyanu was put into acres of space and he hammered home past the stranded Water Eaton keeper to retake the lead. 3-2 Whirlwinds, 30 minutes played!
End to end stuff now with both teams looking hungry. Some finely timed tackles from Jamie, strong clearnaces from Conn and Shane, Sam looking to close the middle, good closing down from Bruce and Andrew covering every blade of grass kept the team together for a period. But eventually it was the home side that forced the advantage with two quick strikes in succession and giving them a 4-3 lead going into the break.
With a few niggly injuries attended to – Conn hip & H groin – the lads re-grouped and set to put matters right. Straight from kick-off they pushed the ball around and forced the game, quicky reaping the reward with a handsome double from Iyanu. His pace and desire causing huge problems for the home team.
Indeed his pace continued to be a massive threat and Whirlwinds saw two clear cut penalties not given which would have put this game away for them and in the draw for the second round. But it wasn’t to be. A couple of well taken goals from Water Eaton saw them go through, winners on the day 6-5. Well done to Water Eaton and good luck in the rest of the competition.
The Whirlwinds boys should not be down-hearted at all about this. Dissapointed yes, but nothing more. They showed great ability, desire and grit. If they build on this then there are a few teams in the league who will be very worried. Build on this and a great season lies ahead.
MOM – Andrew. Committed, won every 50-50 he went for, never missed a key header and played some lovely passes through. WELL DONE Andrew – most deserved.
Battle For The Bragging Rights
It is always going to be a somewhat apprehensive affair when two teams come together from the same club, no matter what results may have gone before. And that was just it. Two teams eager to take the bragging rights and post what could be an important result come season-end.
Whirlwinds lead up to this match had been quite impressive; a heart-breaking (and a little unjust maybe) defeat in the league cup followed up by a solid win in their opening league game a week later. So with a little swagger the boys arrived for this one in good form. Some sound pre-season recruitment has bolstered the squad and spectators have been treated to some lovely passages of play, with some fine passing and movement combined with strength – both physically and mentally.
But there were clearly some nerves jangling for this one and so a bright, confident start was a must.
And so it began. From the first whistle Whirlwinds closed down space and put pressure on the Hurricanes to give them little time on the ball. The early pressure quickly told and after a lovely ball chipped through into space, Iyanu powered through a defensive hole and hammered home. 1 minute and 53 seconds on the clock… 1-0 on the scoreboard. Just the start they had hoped for.
Hurricanes take the re-start and lose possession almost immediately. Great strength in the tackle from Nat and Whirlwinds are on the counter-attack. A nifty little pass through to Jake who switches play back to TC. A deft turn and with spaces opening up he pushes a ball to the left and Iyanu collects. With great pace and power he ghosts past two defenders, looks up and pushes a beautiful square ball across the box to Bruce. There is only one thing in his mind now and he places the ball past a stranded keeper. 3 minutes on the clock… 2-0 on the scoreboard.
After two fantastic early goals expectations were high now for Whirlwinds to press on and whilst you could not expect a goal average of 90 seconds to continue, you could see that there was so much potential for more.
But try they might. Almost 15 minutes of play passed with Whirlwinds pushing the ball around the park, driving into space and looking ever threatening on the Hurricanes goal. But a combination of mis-hit shots, over-hit shots, over complicating matters and some great saves from the Hurricane keeper kept matters at 2-0. Three clear breaks from Iyanu, which on a different day would have all been fished out of the back of the net. But not today and whilst Whirlwinds mostly dominate play the home side defend bravely and begin to frustrate the visitors.
A few good passages of play from Hurricanes, always looking to Zac as their outlet and it is only good communication between CJ, Conn, Jamie and H that keep matters in order. Then Whirlwinds swoop.
A good early offload out of hand from H finds Shane. A nice little inter-play with Nat and momentum builds. TC peels away drawing two defenders and creating a monumental gap, Jake pounces…OOOH…great save and the Hurricanes keeper pushes it over the bar for a corner.
Jake sweeps in a delightful floated cross. Confusion in the area, but not for Bruce at the back post who bags his second of the day. Lovely goal. 15 minutes on the clock… 3-0 on the score board.
A few minutes of complacency perhaps now from Whirlwinds (who if had taken all their chances would have been 7 up by now) and Hurricanes resilience shines through. A few substitutions for them pays dividends as those fresh legs zip the ball about and make the most of the space gifted from a Whirlwind team not closing down as efficiently as they had earlier.
It was a wonderful ball through to Zac down the left that he collected well, drove past his opposite number and struck a fierce drive on goal. H caught cold and beaten at his near-post. The boy ain’t happy with himself at all and no doubt that one will be up for discussion on the way home! But, with a calm head he retrieves the ball from his goal and sets about getting his boys back on track.
Whirlwinds are caught half asleep again as the Hurricanes press, but a sound stop from the keeper draws the first half to a close. Tense stuff. Indeed a few spectators who arrived midway through the half said you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. In truth, Whirlwinds should have been out of sight by now, but they weren’t and at 3-1 it was still all to play for.
A robust team talk from Williams at half time looking to remedy some areas that needed sorting together with some words to help calm frustrations and the boys were ready.
Or were they? The opening 10 minutes of the second half was a sloppy affair from both sides. Both teams trying too hard. A few niggles starting to creep in, but credit to our boys they kept their heads and focussed on their football, not getting drawn into any petty squables.
And with that focus came their reward. An ill-judged comment suggested Whirlwinds were a ‘one man team’. If that were the case you’d set up and deal with it quite comfortably. So no, what we have is a team that works well and utilises each team members strength. That is where the Whirlwinds fourth goal come from – team interplay.
Stunning work from Conn at the back and he calmly whips a ball through to Andrew. He looks up and chips a ball across to his left where Guy collects and immediately zips it down the wing where Nat draws the ball back across field. Owen makes a fine run at the far side and draws the attention of a defender. Into the gap, step up Iyanu who puts is fist half frustrations well behind him and take his team to a 4-1 lead. Team goal, finished off beautifully by the young powerhouse.
From the re-start Whirwinds look strangely ill at ease. A moment of hesitation and with H sitting high as his team had looked to counter, Hurricanes rob the ball well and feed to Zac out on the left. He takes his chance well and lobs the hapless H for his and Hurricane’s second. 4-2
It took a good few minutes for Whirlwinds to re-group, riding a few over zealous challenges and building momentum once again. Eventually the better interplay and use of ball told and with 12 minutes remaining Jake dazzles the left back with a deft drag-back and flick into the path of Iyanu. He’s through, one on one… YESSSSS! Good lad. 5-2. (He’s smiling again now!)
With just a few minutes remaining Whirlwinds were now well on top and continued to whip the ball around an exhausted home team. Some wonderful traingular patters down the left flank, power down the middle and pace down the right. It’s all too much and it is Iyanu who takes the team tally to 6, squeezing a shot in low just past the Hurricane keeper. 6-2.
So that was that. Full time. Whirlwinds posting a sound 6-2 league win over their in-club rivals. It could have been so much more, but the chances have to be taken.
Well done to the boys. A super, collective team effort from the Whirlwinds today. Keep pressing on.
Fantastic job on the park today from Bruce. Bagging a couple of goals, tackling his heart out and helping the team drive forwards. A well earned MOM.
Next week Whirlwinds face a bit of an unkown quantity in some ways, as they travel away to Willen in the League.
I hear that due to huge demand, TicketMaster is down. So away fans you will be able to gain admission on the day!
Whirlwinds Quickly Address Cup Exit Heartbreak
And so it began. The new league season 2014/15.
After a heartbreaking defeat to high flying Water Eaton the Whirlwinds boys looked to put that well behind them and commence league matters in confident style.
Kicking-off with a home game, the Aspley pitch looked immaculate – lines dressed properly, goals expertly set up. (Thanks to those who made it early and did such a cracking job – we’ve always tried to uphold high standards and this approach has raised the bar again. No pun intended!)
So, all set for the game and looking good.
From the first whistle the boys looked to knock it about with confidence and it wasn’t long before the passing and movement paid dividends. On 4 minutes a good firm pass from Nat put Jake into space and with a deft flick he put TC into a great position. A fearsome drive from TC beats a hapless keeper to open the scoring. 1-0.
Some good inter-play continued and more opportunities came and went. TC looking good on the stroke of 14 mins, but this time it is too easy for the visiting keeper and it remained 1-0.
Winslow were not going to roll over and started to get themselves into the game. A good quick break unleashing their striker, but good early hands from H keep matters in order. A quick release to Jamie, Andrew collects and pushes a beatiful ball through for Tom S but, alas it is just over the bar.
More good movement down the right and Owen’s pace is causing the away team left back all sorts of problems. Whirlwinds looking good, but you can’t help feeling they need that second goal just to settle a few nerves.
On 20 mins a couple of substitutions allow Andrew and Owen a much needed breather as Abbott and Sam enter the fray. An immediate impact from Abbott and Sam, closing down space and harrassing well. Abbott picks up the ball, pushes forward five yards and then a delightful through ball sees TC clear. A ‘one on one’ with the keeper….surely…NOOOOOOO! Keeper saves. TC won’t be happy with that one, but the Whirwind ‘Ronaldo’ will put that right don’t be fooled!
Corner on 23 mins. A beautifully floated cross in from Jake and it is TC again….OOOOOHHHHH! Just over the bar. What an effort that was. Whirwinds keep pressing but just can’t find the net and reach half-time 1-0 but from a footballing perspective dominating affairs.
Second half gets under way and after some sound words from Coach Williams the boys set about putting this game to bed. Another wonderful ball through from Shane and TC picks up, turns, drags the ball wide of the keeper and slots home a well earned goal. GET IN! 2-0. (Now he’s smiling – told you he’d score!!)
Whirwinds look a little more relaxed now, but still focussed. The passing and movement is very, very good and a defence that is being pulled all over the back leak again as Jake smashes home for his second. 3-0.
In their stride, Whirlwinds put together some tidy passages of play and it is only a matter of time before the pressure tells. Tom S this time through and a classy strike earns him a goal to take the Whirlwinds to 4-0.
Jake is now rested and Guy comes on causing problems for the visitors straight away. He chips over an absolutely delightful ball to his brother and Shane lets rip. OOOOOHHHH! So unlucky, but a great save from the keeper tips it over the bar. Unlucky lad!
Absolute credit to Winslow who did not give up in their efforts. Great communication between CJ and Conn keep the back solid. Only one more press from Winslow, but H ain’t going to have a clean sheet spoiled at this late stage and a great tip around the post does the job.
Whirwinds press again, but the final whistle finally comes and they run out deserved winners 4-0.
A good first win. Lots of positives on show today. Build on this performance and the lads are going to be a handful.
Well done to Abbott. MOM Award. Se well earned. Relentless in his efforts, strong on the tackle. Held the ball up well and put some very classy passes in.
So, bring on next Sunday. Our first league away game…at home(!) versus Hurricanes. Local derby. There has been lots of talk about it already in the local town, debates in pubs as to who will win the bragging rights. It’s a biggy. C’mon you Whirlwinds.