WCFC’s performances have steadily improved week after week and they would need to be on very top form to beat an in-form Kettering Town and the horrendous weather conditions!
Having lost the toss and somehow not been given the opportunity to choose ends, the game began with WFCF playing into a fierce and driving wind. Despite being at a disadvantage playing into the strong wind, it was WCFC who started the strongest and should have taken the lead as Dylan hit the post from a tight angle at close range. Still, WCFC were playing some nice stuff and were pressing well as a unit. Any threat of danger was quickly dealt with by the defensive trio of Jack, Isaac and Liam who were first to the ball and defending on the front foot. At the other end Austin was making a nuisance of himself and linking up brilliantly with the impressive Dylan, who was working diligently in the “hole”.
Into the second quarter and it was much of the same. WCFC were strong in the challenge (occasionally too strong, Benjamin!!) and were working hard to nullify the conditions. Any strike at goal were comfortably taken by Evan M even though the conditions were just about as bad as any keeper could have encountered.
WCFC were having success out wide and Caleb was unlucky not to break the deadlock. WCFC were more than holding their own and created the better opportunities, Tom in particular playing a perfect centre forward role, taking difficult balls under control before unleashing perfectly weighted balls for the wide men to run on to. At half time it was still all square in a pulsating game of football.
With the wind at their backs WCFC began to apply sustained pressure, and after a few waves of attack the crucial moment of the game came on 68 minutes. Quick thinking from WCFC provided Liam with the opportunity to strike a volley from outside of the box, and, with the minimum of fuss, Liams sweet left foot connected with the ball and it was destined only ever to end up nestled into the top left corner of the opposition’s keepers goal! What a strike!
WCFC were good value for their lead, weathering the conditions in the first half and allowing their football to do the talking when some of the decisions weren’t going their way. However with a slender goal lead it was going to be a test of character to see whether they could build on or retain the lead, and for the first time of the season, play for the whole 80 minutes.
The defence remained resolute with Will, Isaac and Jack forming a formidable partnership with Evan M to keep Kettering at bay.
Into the final quarter and with the opposition pushing men forward WCFC were looking for the opportunity to his Kettering on the counter attack. It came in the form of Toms electric pace, beating players for fun before rounding the keeper and coolly slotting home...only for the divot/gust of wind/freak of nature take the ball of course and rebound cruelly off the post. At the other end the defence and midfield were winning their battles and by the time the full whistle had blown WCFC were good value for their hard fought victory.
For the first time of the season WCFC had played for the full game, and managed to cut out the Individual errors. They were outstanding, each and every single one of them, and it was the hardest decision of the season as to who was going to get the medals. If the Coaches could have awarded Gold to the team then they would have, but there were three performances worthy of note given their elevation of performance in this game.
The conditions any goalkeeper dread, howling wind, slippery surface and a heavy pitch. Evan M dealt with everything thrown at him and his handling was outstanding. His distribution set up wave after wave of counter attacks and most crucially the speed of his decision making was excellent. Well done Evan Masters!
Despite the horrible bobble that robbed him of a stunning goal, Tom’s all round play was the best we have seen from him this season. Pinging balls in behind defences and linking up well with the midfield, battling really hard and putting his body on the line.
Not just for the wonder goal, Liam linked up well with Jack and Caleb in the second half and was a constant pain to the opposition, breaking up attacks and starting the counter attacks.
It was really tough to pick and choose the medals as each boy was outstanding. It felt only fair and right they had a little write up themselves!
Evan M - see above
Jack - his confidence oozing after last week’s award Jack was assured at the back. His covering around from left back to snuff out a threat down our right summed up everything that was good about his (and the team’s performance).
Isaac - a colossus in every sense of the word. His reading of the game meant he was in the right position at the right every single time. It is to his absolute credit that these are the types of performance we come to expect from him!
Liam - see above
Will - yes William! Just yes! Assured in possession, and a particular highlight for the coaches (and we could hear, his dad also) was a strong front foot challenge that snuffed out an attack and put WCFC in possession on the attack.
Caleb - technically excellent in everything he did, and ran their right back ragged. Unlucky not have a goal to cap a truly remarkable performance.
Ben - battled back in true Ben fashion after a difficult start to the game. Really grew into the game and was part of a successful defensive unit to see out the game.
Ryan - put in a wicked cross early on continually used his strength to beat defenders to the ball. Played some lovely passes and forced an excellent save from their keeper late on.
Dylan - busy, energetic, industrious and skilful with excellent vision to match summed up Dylan’s day. Looked natural in the “hole”.
Austin - was asked before the game to hold the ball up and bring the midfield into play and boy he delivered! Another player who is going from strength to strength.
Evan K - you always know what you’re going to get with Ev going forward, beating players for fun and putting the ball into dangerous areas. But it was the defensive shift he put in that really pleased the coaches. The grit and determination etched on his face to win the ball back late in the final quarter saying more than words ever could!
Tom - see above