A tough weekend of games was the dish of the day for the Panthers this weekend. Going into Sundays games, Wyrley were placed 3rd in the Cup League. Todays Opponents; Silverdale JFC and Shire Oak Devils, 1st and 2nd. First up, Silverdale, who had won their previous 4 games in the league. The Panthers lined up with James in goal, a back 3 of Charlie, Molly and Harrison, a midfield duo of Ross and Rickie and the lively Thomas leading the line.
The game started quickly, with the Panthers holding strong and counter attacking often. Panthers were unfortunate to go into the break 2-0 down, with James making a string of good saves and Molly leading the back line well. Going into the 2nd half, Wyrley made a tactical change, with Todd and Joe going on in place of Thomas and Charlie, switching to a 2 player defence, and Molly moving into the midfield. The half started well, with chances at either end. Wyrley attacked in numbers but struggled to find space when it came to getting shots in, with the Silverdale defence holding strong. Nearing the end of the game, Todd raced through one on one with the keeper, but was stopped by the Referees whistle; the referee giving a dubious foul against Ricky’s strong challenge on the defender. Silverdale then twice broke on the counter attack to score, whilst getting another late on from a corner to end the game in a 5-0 loss. The scoreline however, did not reflect the game as Wyrley had plenty of chances going forward. Man of the Match : Molly.
The second game, a six-pointer against a strong Shire Oak Devils side. For this game, we started with a 2-3-1 formation. Joe made his goalkeeping debut, with a backline of Molly and Charlie. The 3-man midfield consisted of Ross, James and Todd with Rickie up front.
The Panthers started confidently, with passing the opposition apart on the menu. The scoring began when Joe’s goal kick was not dealt with by the Devils defence, allowing James to pounce onto the ball, beat his man and send the ball past the keeper from the right wing. The second goal soon followed, with another attack leading to Ross delivering a cross for Rickie to smash home from a yard out. The Devils got one back just before half-time, with the score then at 2-1. Two changes saw the introduction of Harrison and Thomas for Rickie and Ross. The second half saw a much revived Shire Oak team attack with real menace, and soon they had taken the lead, 3-2, after two quickfire goals, the second a screamer from distance that Joe stood no chance saving. The team continued to attack, with Wyrley holding strong with Harrison and Charlie defending everything thrown at them. A substitution midway through the half changed the game, with Charlie and the energetic Todd being replaced by Rickie and Ross, leaving just one defender at the back. Shire Oak continued to attack, and were awarded a penalty. Joe, however, was not to be beaten, diving to save the shot. A new leash of life hit the panthers, and soon were back on top of the game. We were soon level again, a lovely passing move found Rickie in space. He was tackled, with the ball falling to James midway through the opponents half. He then took the ball to the byline and send the ball crashing into the goal for his second. Harrison then hit a stinging shot from close to the halfway line just wide as Wyrley went for the win. Molly created a few chances with her trademark runs down the wings, and whipped in some great corners which were well defended by the Devils. A couple of shots by both teams were squandered, Joe putting on a goalkeeping master-class for all to see, before a sublime Ross cross was turned in confidently by Thomas, to give Wyrley a 4-3 victory. Man of the Match: Joe.
A tough weekend for the players, ending in a stunning and well-deserved victory. Player of the Week: James.