This third pre-season friendly saw Whiteley FC play Forresters, a team from the Commercial Houses League Division 1.
Whiteley started brightly playing some decent football with Aidan making some good runs down the left side. The defence were more organised this week dealing with free kicks and corners superbly well keeping Forresters at bay.
Ten minutes into the first half and Whiteley took the lead. With good build up play Aidan went into the box after the ball had been played squarely to him and, as he ran in towards goal, he was hacked down from behind. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and awarding a penalty.
stepped up to take the penalty and placed the ball down on the spot. He walked out of the area then, when the referee blew his whistle and Damo ran in and smashed the ball down the centre of the goal low into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Whiteley increased their lead with a very well taken goal. The ball threaded through to who charged in on goal. The keeper decided to come out, and, with the ball bouncing awkwardly, Rosie made no mistake in placing his shot past the advancing keeper and into the back of the net.
Forresters increased their grip on the game by applying pressure, eager to pull a quick goal back but with no success. Although their defence and midfield were dominant in the air, grit and determination from Whiteley kept them at bay for spells during the first half.
Josh had a good chance to make it three nil with a break down the left. With good work from Mo and Rosie, Josh got the ball back and "fizzed" a low shot just narrowly wide of the goal.
Dan made a few good saves also, and commanded his area, doing well to come out and get his finger tips onto a long lofted ball into the penalty spot and putting off their striker for what could have been a certain goal.
The referee blew for half time and Whiteley went in two nil to the good.
Although this was not one of our best performances by any stretch of the imagination, we were still two nil up and only had to remain solid to see the game out for another win.
Forresters came out with all guns blazing and it wasnt long before they had a few chances. Although they forced a few corners, Dan did superbly well at getting his fists on the ball from their well taken corners and punched clear on a few occasions.
Fifteen minutes into the second half disaster struck. With the ball played from their left wing into the centre, Damo raced to clear. As he connected with the ball it smashed against their strikers knee and cannoned into the ground, looping over Dan's head and into the back of the net. It was cruel luck but gave Forresters a chance of getting back into the game.
It wasnt long before Marv had a chance to increase Whiteleys lead. With the ball cleared from the corner, we did well to scramble the ball back to Marv. Marv absolutely hammered the ball back and the keeper did well to hold on to the rising shot. A couple of feet to the left of the keeper and it would have been a contender for goal of the season!
Whiteley continued to defend well and Damo suffering from a crooked neck and dead leg) came off for Mike, while Paul made way for Paddy at centre back. with ten minutes left in the game, the ball was played up the left wing to . Aidan controlled the ball well and ran in diagonally from the left towards goal. Realising he had time, he composed himself and curled a beautiful shot around the keeper and into the corner of the net.
With two minutes left in the game Forresters pulled a goal back. A great ball over the top saw their striker latch onto the ball and, with Dan retreating back to his goal, the striker hit a well placed shot past him and into the back of the net.
Whiteley then held on for the final two minutes well, with Dan palming a long shot away to the side after the ball had skipped up off the surface.
The final whistle went and Whiteley had another win under their belts. Well done to everybody that played. Although it was not one of our best performances, we showed true character and our battling qualities against decent opposition. There were a few contenders for man of the match, notable Leroy, Aidan and Marv. Although a close run thing, the man of the match award this week is going to . Aidan defended well, won a lot of decent headers and, finished his chance well to give Whiteley a bit of breathing space. Well done Aidan.