Result – Wanderers 4 – Harriers 1;

After a good performance, but disappointing result last week the Wanderers welcomed Great Barr Harriers to a wet and very windy Willenhall Academy.

Match Report –
So in training this week and before the game we talked about how important it was to bounce back from last weeks disappointment and that all good teams show their strength by the way they respond to a defeat. For today’s game we decided to slightly change our shape and went for a 4-2-3-1 formation. This meant we had Liam/Lewis and Josh playing behind Jack, with Callum and Owen in the slightly deeper roles in midfield. We started the first half very well, and although playing into a very strong wind we managed to keep the ball on the ground and controlled the game from the very beginning. The first 10mins saw us dominate possession with Josh having a lot of success down our right hand side, Jack was holding the line well and was playing Lewis/Liam and Josh in time after time. The break through came around 15mins into the game, when following a series of throw ins deep into the right corner Callum managed to break to the byline and whip a deep cross to the back post where it was met by Liam who neatly finished to make it 1-0. Within in 5mins it was 2, good play down our right found Jake who slid the ball through to Jack who skilfully turned the defender and then showed his strength to hold him off and calmly finished to double our lead 2-0. We were totally in control and although the Harriers had the wind with them they never really threatened our back four, other than the odd long ball over the top. We continued to play our football and created several more chances, including one for Lewis, who was played in by Jack and then danced his way into the box only for his shot to be stopped by the keeper and then hit the rebound over the bar. The next chance was for Josh who following some good work down our left found himself through on goal only to see his shot hit the post and then his follow up cleared by Harriers. We couldn’t add to the score before halftime, but ended a tough half into the wind in complete control.
We made some changes at half time, but kept our formation and agreed we needed to keep the intensity and concentration to ensure we kept the pressure on Harriers.
With the wind behind us the second half continued in the same way as the first, with us pushing Harriers back. We created several half chances, but just couldn’t seem to find that killer final ball and add to the score. We were then punished 10mins in, when a speculative long ball was chased by the Harriers striker and he managed to beat Phoe to the ball and sneak the ball past Tom to pull a goal back 2-1. This could have made us panic, but we didn’t and we just continued to push forward and look for our third goal. A number of long shots went close, and Jack nearly pulled off a great lob following a poor goal kick, but we just couldn’t quite find that finish. It eventually came 20mins into the half, Jack once again showed his strength to power his way through and calmly wrong foot the keeper to restore our 2 goal advantage 3-1. Within 5mins we had our forth and final goal when a through ball was nicely flicked on by Kaya to Lewis who finished neatly past the keeper to make it 4-1. The final 10mins saw us create a few final chances, the best was when Callum burst through only to be initially stopped by the keeper and then knock the rebound over from a few yards out! 🙁

A great response following last weeks result and a great all round performance in really tough conditions. Lots of good individual performances today, another 2 goals for Jack, a goal each for Lewis and Liam and some solid displays from the rest of the team. Again not easy picking a “Man of the Match” this week, but for not putting a foot wrong all game this weeks “MoM” went to Jake Mason. Well done Jake!

Well done to all the lads today, as we said a sign of a good team is how you respond to bad result and we couldn’t have asked for a better response! Well done, let’s keep the momentum from today and bring on the Tigers next week.

Joe, Jason, Ronan and Reece.

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