Wyrley Panthers v Hamstead Diamonds Semi-Final
Having played so well against Hamstead last week to get to the Semi-Final the boys needed to replicate that performance or even better it to get through to the final.
Consistently over the last couple of weeks the boys have gone down to an early goal and had to fight their way back into the game and it happened again this week. Hamstead carved their way through a static defence and a shot was diverted into the net from just over a yard.
It was an even game up to half-time but the boys had many chances to score, as has also been a curse over the last couple of weeks they simply could not find a way to put the ball in the net. Ashton ‘Goals’ Cooper worked tirelessly up front but luck was not on his side and the ball would simply not go in for him.
Ben ‘Tank’ Maginness was brought on at half-time and provided that extra impetus and pace that was missing from the Panthers’ game. The boys continued to plug away and create chances with George Whitehouse hitting the post. However, Hamstead looked dangerous on the break, with the boys attacking looking for an equaliser and the next goal would be crucial.
Unfortunately, a free kick was awarded to Hamstead and while Lewis ‘the Cat’ Rochelle was organising his wall the Hamstead player took the free kick and it flew into the unguarded net.
The boys continued to try and get themselves back in the game but time and luck was against them and they were beaten by a very good Hamstead team.
Wyrley Panthers v Sutton 3rd/4th place play off
Having been beaten in the semi-final the boys looked dejected and deflated and who could have blamed them. Changes were made to the team from the semi-final line up. The boys flew out of the traps and scored within minutes of the start with good work from George Whitehouse and Ben ‘Whizza’ Herrington down the right with George crossing for the prolific Josh ‘Smasher’ Mason to arrive at the back post to volley the ball home, his second goal in consecutive weeks.
The boys continued to press forward in the first half looking for more goals to kill the game off and Smasher could have grabbed himself a second following an incisive ball through from the right from Whizza ended with Smasher having his left footed effort well saved low down by the Sutton keeper.
The boys were passing the ball around nicely throughout the game with special praise goes to Whizza who looked lively and confident up front and wingers George and Smasher who looked dangerous going forward.
However, the second half was a completely different game and Sutton began to pressurise the Panthers and create chances and had equalised within minutes of the restart. Sam ‘Scotty’ Scott defended robustly at the back but both him and Rio Parkes-Mahoney were not helped by their midfield in the second half of the game as they were left on their own time and again to deal with midfielders who had got away from their markers.
The match ended in a draw following extra time, the game went to penalties and despite being ahead in the shootout the boys ended up losing in sudden death. Credit goes to George Whitehouse, Sam ‘Scotty’ Scott, Ashton ‘Goals’ Cooper and Ben ‘Whizza’ Herrington for having the confidence to step up and take a penalty.
Well done to the boys for making it through to this stage of the competition and with a bit more luck and more clinical finishing it could have been another final appearance.
Man of the matches go to Tank for his superb cameo performance and tricks in the semi-final and Sam ‘Scotty’ Scott for his unerring penalty.