|Date||2 December 2017|
|Result||W 5 - 1|
On a cold wet afternoon with the light beginning to fail, Old Wulfs thirds travelled to Leamington to take on the side at the bottom of the table. An easy win on the cards one might have thought, but Leamington made sure the team worked for its result.
Initially things appeared to support the “easy win theory” with Leamington making up their team with a sprinkling of badgers and a stand-in keeper, but on closer inspection it appears that Leamington keep their youngsters in the badgers much longer than we did/do and the stand in keeper’s performance would suggest this is not the first time he has been called upon to take on the role. The result was that Old Wulfs faced an enthusiastic mix of relatively young and fast teenagers blended with a few older, wiser heads – this was not going to be a walk in the park after all.
Battle commenced with Old Wulfs retaining much of the possession and initiative, but a couple of breakaways by Leamington showed that if we let our guard down they were quite capable of punishing us for it. Our first goal came after about 12 minutes from a reverse stick hit from the edge of the “D” from Grant Bond and this was followed relatively quickly by another goal from a well taken shot from James Dunn – so after 20 minutes Old Wulfs were leading 2-0 and everything was going nicely to plan.
It is fair to say though that we then took both our eye off the ball and our foot of the accelerator and allowed Leamington to get back into the game and pressure our back line. The result was a short corner which Leamington returned to the injector who slotted it home to make it 2-1. This was a warning of what might happen if we allowed this young side to grow in confidence and we went into half time knowing we had to re-assert our initial authority on the game.
Fortunately we appeared to have learnt from our lapse in concentration and the second half saw us reassert control and move the ball around the pitch in a far more fluid and purposeful manner. Defensively we marked and neutralised well, the midfield distributed effectively and the front line delivered three goals. The first came from Simon Evans following some fluid passing around the team, which apparently bobbled into the goal in a manner that would have made Barnes Wallis proud, followed by two further goals from James, slotting in on the post which in the end made for a relatively comfortable victory, despite Leamington sticking with it right to the final whistle.
The real positive to take away from the day was the excellent performances put in by our three youngsters, Sahib Durha, James Dunn and Jack Pearson, all of whom showed the potential to play further up the Club as they continue to develop. The result was a long and considered debate about “man of the match” and whilst normally James’ excellent hat-trick would be more than enough to secure the accolade, by the narrowest of margins it went to Jack Pearson for an outstanding midfield performance.
Until the next time… Wizard prang chaps!!