Result – Rhinos 0 – Wanderers 9

We’re back! 🙂 Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to the second half of the season. For our first game back we were up against the Wyrley Rhinos. Although technically an away game due to pitch availability we actually played on one of the other Willenhall Academy pitches. After a great result in our last game before Christmas we we hoping to pick up where we left off.

Match Report –
So after a few weeks off its was back to business. This was our first official game against the Rhinos and although we had beaten them in a pre-season friendly we were still expecting a good game. With a couple of players missing and with only a squad of 12 we made a couple of tactical changes for the game.
The game started fairly evenly and saw both teams battle for control in the opening exchanges. We were definitely a bit rusty from the break and we struggled to get into our usual rhythm. Finally the deadlock was broken about 20mins in, when following a long clearance from the back and some good work by Jack, Josh was put through one on one and finished with superbly past the keeper at the near post. 1-0 Wanderers! This should have settled us down, but for the rest of the first half we seemed stuck in 2nd gear and just couldn’t get our normal game going. Although we were never threatened at the back we just couldn’t create any further clear cut chances, and so were disappointed to go in only 1-0 at half time.
At half-time we made a couple of tactical changes and encouraged the boys to keep focused and try to get our passing game together. We pushed Prab into the holding midfield role and moved Jack back up to lead the front line, supported by Lewis/Josh and Liam.
The second half got underway and we were like a different team, from the first minute we were pressing and on the front foot and 5mins in we doubled our lead. Following some good work down our left, Lewis found himself on the edge of the box and fired a low shot into the bottom corner (aided by a slight deflection). We were now moving up the gears and in the next 10mins we killed the game off with another 4 quick goals. The first was Lewis’s second, a long ball from the back was well controlled by Jack, he then played Lewis through to dance past a couple of defenders and finish well to make it 3. The 4th quickly followed when Josh grabbed his second with another good finish. Jack then grabbed his chance to get on the score sheet when he chased a through ball and rounded the keeper to finish neatly with his right foot 5-0. He then got his second shortly after when a great ball from Ade put him through one on one and he calmly finished past the keeper to make it 6.
The Rhinos keeper was actually having a good game and made a number of great saves to keep the score down, one a superb save from a long range effort from Owen. Unfortunately the next one was from a great shot from Jack, but the rebound fell to Josh who followed up to stab home and make it 7-0.
We now looked like scoring every time we went forward and our 8th goal came with 10mins to go. Good work down our right ended with a deep cross which Jack chased and produced a fantastic bit of skill to cross back in and find Prab running into the box and drove the ball home with a great strike. Our last goal was Josh’s 4th, when he challenged for the ball following a great cross from the right and forced the ball in to make it a final score of 9-0.

A fantastic performance from everyone today, after blowing the cobwebs away in the first half we played some great football and scored some great goals in the second. Overall a very good team performance for our first game back with some great individual performances, Jack scored another 2 goals and provided some great assists, 2 goals for Lewis and 4 for Josh which makes it 23 for the season for him.
We should also recognise a great defensive display today, we remained focused throughout and kept the much deserved clean sheet. As for this weeks “Man of the Match”, it could have gone to several players with Jack and Josh both candidates, but for today the “MoM” goes to the player who made the difference in the second half. He controlled the game in the holding midfield role and managed to grab himself a goal, this weeks “MoM” goes to Prab, Well done Prab great performance.

Well done to everyone today, great start to 2016. Let’s keep our focus and the momentum going, it’s a big cup game next week so lets train hard and look forward to Lane Head Warriers next Sunday.

Joe, Jason, Ronan and Reece.

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