This first pre-season friendly saw Whiteley FC play Fareham Sacred Heart in a good spirited and friendly game.
Whiteley FC brought 16 players to the game which was being played at Redbridge Community School on the astro turf pitch. As usual there was a distinct lack of goalkeepers with the line-up for the first 25 minutes as follows :- Damo (GK) Ryan(LB), Marv (CB), Paul (CB), Leroy (RB), Jas (RM), Kev (CM), Mo (CM), Josh (LM), Rosie (CF) and DS Jonsey (CF).
We started brightly, passing the ball well, we created a few decent chances, two falling to Paul who tried his luck from distance, as well as a header from Marv that narrowly missed with the keeper beaten. We also had a couple of shots headed and volleyed off the line.
About 15 minutes into the game, disaster struck!.. A long ball by Sacred Heart saw a slight lapse in concentration at the back whilst trying to play offside, and, their striker latched onto the ball and curled the ball round Damo and onto the post. Damo and the striker went for the re-bound but the striker got there first and slotted home from close range.
We changed things around after that and gave Dave (lb) Paul (CM) Mike (RB) and Oz (CF) a run out. Due to the wholesale changes it took us a little while to adapt but we coped well and went in at half time 1-0 down.
We had a chat at half time and we all felt that it was only a matter of time before we got something from the game.
We kept the team unchanged for the start of the second half and we started putting Sacred Heart under pressure straight away.
DS Jonsey had a couple of chances getting into good positions but they went just wide, you could now tell we were on top.
A quick scare at the other end saw a high lofted ball bopunce on the edge of the area and with Damo scrambling back, he just managed to touch it over the ball with his finger tips.. The ref said goal kick.. who's going to argue with that!!?
We made a few more changes and it was about five minutes later that we finally got the goal we deserved. A long corner from Jas floated the ball in to Marv, rising like a salmon he headed the ball back towards goal, after a scramble, Mo popped up and smashed the ball home from close range to equalise!
Five minutes later, with good link-up play between Oz and Jas, Jas threaded a ball through to Jonsey.He ran through on goal holding off the defender and slammed the ball home making no mistake.
Two minutes after that, again a great through ball from the halfway line saw Jonsey played through again. Although there was a suspicion of offside, Jonsey played to the whistle and smashed a low shot past the helpless keeper to noth up his second goal of the game and Whiteley's third.
The final whistle went not long after that and we had won our first pre-season friendly. A great start to the campaign and well done to everyone involved, there were some excellent individual performances that contributed to a great team performance. Man of the match although very close, has to go to Marv for an outstanding arial display, assured passing and some great saving challenges.
Well done boys.. bring on the next match!