Walton Casuals Panthers v. Lightning
3 - 7
The Walton match location changed in the week and the new location was not so easy to find let alone park. Once found, the facility was a gem, just two mini-pitches in the local Girl Guide hall grounds.
First to arrive, Tioba (but then he’d had to travel with the manager). The opposition had a team, we only had 6 with 15 minutes to kick-off. And a couple of players were still missing as kick-off approached. We had a new formation to (2-3-1) but the managers plans had to change with regards participants.
Stefanos, George, Louis, Riley,Ned, Joseph, Matthew, Vansh, Tioba start.
Conditions were playable but not perfect following a heavy downpour on Friday night. George, standing in for Stefanos, was not happy with the goalmouth but seemed willing to soldier on (and for longer than he thought).
KO – Stefanos has made it but where’s Vansh…
Our first attack, a solo foray by Tioba, sees his shot saved by keeper. (Comment from the opposition manager – I can see why you brought him along -😊)
As we adjusted to our new formation we were faced with some good attacking play by Walton. They force a corner and in the ensuing melee in our defence, Walton take an early lead. Only 3 minutes in - this could be a long day…
We were defending well and Ned was enjoying some good tackling. Walton pressure continued but we looked reasonably controlled. Quick look at the watch only 5 minutes played. Still 2 minutes without a goal against. Where is Vansh…
Riley made a great interception in his unfamiliar role of left back and strode forward, gliding past the opposition and a perfect to pass to Tioba who scores with a lovely right-footed shot. Still only 6 minutes on the clock and we’re back in the game. Hi Vansh 😊
We were now getting in to our stride and in defence Louis, Riley and Joseph looked masterful, despite Walton’s good passing and continued threat. We were proving we can absorb pressure and play well on the break. Louis put a nice ball through the middle to Joseph who, one on one with the goalkeeper, kept his composure and slotted the ball past him into an empty net.
Some more attractive individual play from Tioba again keeps the Walton keeper on his toes. A lovely free kick from Louis is just wide of the post. Lightning finish the first half stronger of the two teams.
Walton start the second half in determined mood and Lightning have to resume defending as a team. However, In only 2 minutes Walton are level with a solid shot that beats George.
The pressure continues, and another long Walton shot goes just over the bar. Ben, on for Ned makes a darting run down the left side but his pass fails to find Vansh (on for Tioba) and Walton continue to press. Slightly against the run of play we win a corner. Louis finds Ben who dispatches his shot from fully 10 yards leaving the Walton goalkeeper no chance.
Walton continue to press and play some very nice football, but the game is developing in an end to end affair and it looks like the team that can finish their opportunities might be the victors.
Vansh has a good chance but is denied by the defence. As Lightning apply pressure, Riley has a free kick just over the bar. Walton break from the resulting goal kick and only a great sliding tackle stops the onslaught. Another corner another Walton strike but a solid save from George keeps Lightning ahead.
Joseph picks up the ball on another solo run and scores another great effort.
Stefanos, perhaps because of the mud, decided not to play in goal and makes his on-field debut. Working hard and not giving up anything in midfield.
Our next attack sees Ben’s shot blocked but Vansh in true poacher style gets a real centre forwards goal.
Walton are almost as resilient as Lightning and are still in the game. Louis produces a great defensive header but from the resulting corner Panthers score a third. The game is still close.
Lightning attack again and Tioba’s shot is blocked but he get a second chance and scores. Walton are still playing well. A one on one attack is halted by George.
For Lightning, Matthew is the next to try his luck and although his first shot is blocked his second finds the back of the net!
One more attack led by Tioba looking for his hat trick, but his shot goes just wide and the referee blows the final whistle. Phew!
Man of the Match Joseph
Goals Tioba 2, Joseph 2, Ben (just 1), Matthew and Vansh