|Date||14 February 2015|
|Venue||George Salter Academy, Claypit Lane, West Bromwich, West Midlands B70 9UW|
|Result||W 4 - 0|
|Scorers||Richard Roberts, Tom Ward, Richard Roberts|
A highly spirited Old Wulfs 2nd team travelled to West Bromwich for a later than usual start. Knowing it was going to be a tough game as our opponents were second in the league, and losing our first fixture at home to them previously, we stuck to the changes made at the beginning of the year, knowing they have been working well for us recently.
And this showed in the first 10 minutes, where we spread the ball around the back, and made use of our wingers, keeping the ball away from midfield, where we knew we had trouble the last time. Early possession lead to us having the majority of attacks, which we just couldn’t quite manage to get in a decent position to take a shot on. Thus causing some frustration amongst some of our players, who to be fair, were lucky to not be sin binned through their back chat.
But spirits were high from our previous wins, and a ball across the D struck an opposition foot, only to be allowed to play on as Ash let the ball roll across his body out of the reach of the defender, and flicked through the keepers legs. 1-0 to Old Wulfs mid-way through the first half, and a rare lead where we usually concede in the first 10 minutes. The only notable attacks, or attack, from West Brom in the first half was on a break away 3-vs-2 where their pace finally worked for them, and a square ball into the D was cut out by Dill in goal and cleared to safety. The half finished 1-0, with both captains being called over by the umpires to discuss the back chat.
The second half started as brightly as the first, but again few clear cut chances were created for Old Wulfs, and again our back 4 playing superbly, thwarted out any sniff of goal for the home side. Throughout the game our defence showed the form that wins games, and with trust in the formation, the fullbacks were allowed to push further up the field, with the wide midfielders happy to drop back and cover.
Time was running out for the home side, and with constant substitutions failing to make any sort of impact on the game, a change in formation was what caused their downfall. They played with 3 defenders, pushing a player higher up the pitch, but as quick as the young lads were, we had faster, more experienced players who counter attacked with speed, allowing us to score 3 more goals.
With George having a reverse stick shot excellently saved by the opposition keeper on the top of the D, anyone would forgive him for having another try, but with the captains orders of to pass in certain situations still ringing in his ears, made a what he called ‘a man of the match pass’ from the top D to the left, where an unmarked Tom found the keepers pads, only for the rebound to fall to the ever present Rich Roberts, to slot home for an open goal.
The third goal I have no memory of, in-fact I thought it was Tom who scored, however after much head-ache, and much goal stealing attempts, we remembered Rich Roberts got his second of the game, and deservedly so.
At 3-0 we were cruising, and played like it as we gifted West Brom a penalty corner which they cleverly took, but an outstanding stick save down low from a diving Dill again frustrated our opponents.
West Brom were undone again as a swift counter attack found an unmarked Chris Tibble who tried a shot at goal, which rolled across the front of the goal to an unmarked Tom and George. The next few seconds happened in slow motion, as Tom tried to control the ball and tap it in, whilst George was eager to get a goal, so eager in fact, wanting to tackle his own player just to get it, Tom finally pushed the ball into an empty goal, much to Georges dismay.
With tiring legs, a final push from West Brom gave them a few penalty corners in quick succession. Now I know we have trouble with our shorts corners, and it’s something we are trying to work on, when West Brom players are shouting numbers such as 72 and 43, you wonder just how many play books they have. But having so many can cause confusion, and it showed, with their best chance of a goal coming from a hit to the back post, where the striker was supposed to tap it in, however from the arguing that followed, wasn’t the correct number.
The game ended 4-0, and shoutouts go to Stuart and Rich in midfield, who not only dominated midfield, but showed great endurance and fitness to block out any pace that came our way. The MoTM went to Rich, who bagged 2 goals, and was solid in the middle of the pitch.