After a month long rain forced hiatus the Wyrley Panthers were raring to go in today’s two games against Sporting Kalsa and the Midland Soccer Academy. All spectators were relieved that it was a beautiful crisp Winters day, with no sign of rain, but not as relieved that chief administrator Andy Jones actually remembered hot water and that the hot water remained in the proper receptacle, not in the boot of his Audi.

Following that crucial start, Managers Andy and Dean Jones unleashed the Panthers onto Sporting Kalsa and despite their best efforts, Kalsa received a true savaging today in the wilds of Shelfield. The match began requiring some adjustment, as Panthers agreed to Kalsa’s request to four a side.

The initial foursome comprised of Lukas Purcell in goal, captain Joshua Lester, Wilson Cooper and Ryan Jones. With Lukas Purcell largely unoccupied in goal, the three outfielders (the three amigos) were utterly ruthless, often toying with their prey. A great passing move lead to the first goal with Lester bursting down the right and crossing for Cooper, wearing his white boots of power, blasting past the goalkeeper going in off the crossbar. Cooper then turned provider, slipping Jones in, who then beat the defender to score a second, driving a low shot past the flailing keeper. Lester then added two with crisp finishes, one starting with a strong solo run down the right wing, the other, his second and Wyrley’s fourth, finished well with his left. Credit must go to Kalsa’s Goalkeeper who pulled off several brave saves thwarting each of the Amigos throughout the first half. Going in at halftime four nil up, management powerhouses Andy and Dean Jones decided to add further pressure to the beleaguered back line of Kalsa by introducing Vinnie Jones and Frazer Simms ( resplendent in a Union Jack bobble hat). The changes had more or less an immediate effect with Simms powering a long range shot with the outside of his right foot into the net to score his first ever goal for Wyrley. This lead to scenes of near hysteria on the touchline with both managers looking emotional and Mrs Simms jumping up and down most vigorously. The hysteria on the touchline continued as Jones junior won the ball in midfield, ran forward and unleashed an arrow like left footed shot into the net, to score his first goal for Wyrley too; leading to the now famous windmill celebration from Jones. Jones senior’s questionable hat nearly fell off under the weight of his own very personal celebrations. Further great play from messrs Simms and Jones, snapping at Kalsa’s heals throughout the rest of that half. Sandwiched between these two maiden goals was some good alert goalkeeping from Purcell.

Final Score Panthers 6 Kalsa 0
Joint men of the match, Frazer Simms and Vinnie Jones

The next match was far more competitive against Midlands Soccer Academy and truly a game of two halves. In the main, the first half belonged to MSA, with some good passing and movement leaving Wyrley pressed just outside their box. This pressure lead to a free kick just to the left of the Wyrley box, which was finished magnificently from range by MSA, despite Purcell’s best efforts. Great defending was seen by Simms, Cooper and Lester all of which tackled and intercepted superbly to ensure no further dangers were seen by Purcell, who commanded his box very well. Ryan Jones displayed good energy tracking back and assisting the defence, whilst offering a good outlet going forward with some good direct play. Wyrley’s captain Lester and MSAs most dangerous player (their number 11) then entertained the crowd with a fully committed physical battle which lasted well into the second half.

Panthers then took over in the second half and played and pressed MSA higher up the pitch, with Lester beginning to assert himself in the game, supported by Cooper, Jones, Jones V, and Simms, winning his battle with the MSA number 11. Lester hit the post as Panthers poured forward to get the equaliser, following an excellent direct run. As the match drew to a close, Lester won the ball and pushed forward, supported by this team mates, shot low, with the ball creeping over the line, deservedly equalising for Panthers. Real credit must go to the Wyrley team as a unit who battled back from a nervous first half to dominate proceedings.

Well done Panthers, for two excellent performances today!

Final score MSA 1 Panthers 1
MoM. Joshua Lester.

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