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Felinfoel 3 - Westend United 3
A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. This moment would be a relatively sunny Saturday midway through September; not quite so sunny as to justify Darren ‘open play’ Lewis’ choice of attire that day, a mix between Russian sailor and Gok Wan, quite the little head turner.
Day 6 of Westend’s Carmarthenshire League campaign would begin like any other, a mixture of anxiety and ambition. Felinfoel down in the doldrums and Westend climbing the league like a rat up a drainpipe; what fruits would this day bring? Team selection now Gary ‘smiler’ Jones has taken the helm is always an interesting moment, it would be no different today. It was a fairytale for young Rob ‘I’m still here’ Griffiths as his past performances merited a place in the first eleven, but at a cost. This inclusion would mean the Westend workhorse Jamie ‘engine room’ Williams would spend more time looking at the proceedings than being involved in them. There was also a spot of confusion as Rob ‘mother will be proud’ Griffiths looked to be starting in the middle of midfield, after some debating and persuasion the man of ink Darren ‘ninety minutes almost killed me’ Lewis had reversed the roles and had managed to push Mr. Griffiths back to his familiar role wide on the left. With everything else as it should be Westend left the home comforts of the White Lion for a short walk down the golden streets to Felinfoel Park and a long wait outside the changing rooms. The anticipation was building, the team was eager; Gary Jones in his excitement wore a tracksuit top that was two sizes too small which failed to hide a multitude of sins. The doors were unlocked Westend rushed in only to be hit by a wall of stench and a littered floor. Felinfoel’s mind games would start early today.
The game was afoot. Westend would forget about all the good that had transpired midweek and start the game in suicide mode. From the kickoff they reverted to type and played the ball loosely and limply back through the team; with each pass the fear spread. Felinfoel sensed the mood, Westend were carrion-esque and ‘Foel would continue to pick at them like vultures. Down the right hand side Jason ‘I used to be solid’ Harding and Chris ‘I feel like a regular’ Evans found the going tough, there was no outlet, not that they could force the ball much further than the next but one ‘Foel player. The right side faired no better as Ollie ‘two men’ Noor and Rob ‘I can now see why I start on the bench’ Griffiths struggled with the overlapping mastery of the Felinfoel flank. Stuart ‘nice guy’ Hemingway and Dyfrig ‘utility’ Frater became isolated in their forward roles being stretched like an elastic band and just as effective. It wouldn’t be long before the home side started making sizeable inroads through the Westend backline. Played on the floor and through the space between Domonic ‘Not again’ Borelli and Paul ‘in the air is fine, on the floor look out’ James they pressed. Several similar attacks followed only stopped by the quantity of Westend bodies not by the quality. Confusion reigned. With one shot whistling past the post, Foel had the hunger, this would not stop. Confusion turned to comedy as Ollie’s footballing brain went on holiday for a minute or two; the dedicated defender attempted a Paul James mazy run from the back. It didn’t last long, one maybe two strides before the attacker left Ollie ‘out of sorts’ Noor looking silly and the ‘Foel striker breaking to a one on one with Michael ‘quick off the line’ Schildt, with Schildts using all his Welsh League experience to usher the ball out for a corner from which he would majestically punch clear. Classic goalkeeping.
The first half lumbered on, Westend’s midfield had yet to turn up. Steve ‘kebab’ Preece ambled in a five yard circle failing stop any attacking play or set up any silky moves, it wasn’t happening. Then the clouds parted, a ray of sunshine shone. There was a spark, Dyfrig ‘ice cool’ Frater spotted a bumbling ‘Foel defender spending an eternity on the ball. Like a lioness preying on the weakest member of the pack Dyfrig struck, stealing the ball from feet of the centre half he was through on goal. There could and would only be one outcome, Dyfrig was not born he was made, made from the ice of an artic glacier, he is that cool. With one icy look he slotted the ball home to nestle in the Felinfoel net, he didn’t even blink. One nil.
Felinfoel must have felt sick to their stomachs, all the play was in the away team’s half and the only goal in the back of their net. If they were sorry for themselves they didn’t show it as they kept playing the pressing game, more slide rule balls resulting in more half clearances from the back line. There would only be so long Westend could hold out. Crash, Bang, Wallop! A ‘Foel attacker brought down on the edge of the area; would this be the moment? The Westend wall once more dragged its heels. A Felinfoel veteran struck the free kick with a vicious curl that looked for all the world to be in. Then in full dive a majestic Michael ‘heartbreaker’ Schildt parried the attempt to safety. Borelli was taken away by the agility. Not be undone ‘Foel continue to bully the back line, if this was a playground the teachers would have phoned Childline long ago. More crosses and a few shots found the way into the area, all denied by goalkeeper or by the courage of the Westend double act of Borelli and James. Still one nil. Another free kick, this time on the outskirts of the eighteen yard box. A cross hit with anger found its way to the penalty spot before it was brutally beaten away by the strong arm of Westend’s guardian once more. This time in the words of a Daniel Day-Lewis’ film 'there will be blood’. A brave Felinfoel forward had taken one for the team, his nose taking the accidental brunt of the fist of Schildt, an unfortunate incident which left a pool of crimson in the eighteen yard.
Daunted but not undone Felinfoel continue to rape Rob ‘this is not going well’ Griffiths and Ollie ‘overrun’ Noor down the left wing. With seconds to spare a fizzed cross found a marked striker on the edge of the six yard box who drove home the equalizer with aplomb. One all. Parity.
The dismal first half display was brought to a close, Westend crest fallen after such a late strike. It was no more than they deserved for a languid performance lacking any cohesion. Gary ‘the brain’ Jones would meet out all his usual charm and affection for the players, pointing the finger of blame throughout the team. Heads down, spirits crushed the grilling continued. Joy was a stranger to this team talk.
The second began as the first had ended more pressure less skill. Steve ‘burger king’ Preece didn’t last long, the long arm of Gary ‘team builder’ Jones yanked him off allowing Jamie ‘wild horses’ Williams some game time. Could Westend turn it around, would they rise to the challenge? No.
As Felinfoel surged once more a shot from inside the box was flicked off the iron wrist of the Westend stopper as he dived (in the way Curtis doesn’t) down fast and hard to the near post. Another one for the overloaded scrapbook. ‘Foel were awarded a corner, they took it short. It flashed across the box; its target was standing near the back post. The defenders moved across prepared to throw themselves in front of the forthcoming shot. As the bodies piled up the shot came in, surely there can be no way through the mess of arms, torsos and legs that was in front of the striker. But there was the slightest chink in the Westend armour and it had been found and exploited. Two one down.
Behind for the first time, the feeling of sadness and loss enraged Westend, this would not do, this could not be. Darren ‘fashionista’ Lewis rallied the troops, his battling desire rubbed off on the rest of the team like his tattoos do in the shower invigorating the rest of the players. Westend were alive once more. Chris ‘rookie’ Evans was finding space on the right; Rob ‘please let me have a better second half’ was having a better second half; Stuart ‘dangermouse’ Hemingway and Dyfrig ‘still icy cool’ Frater were back in the game with resolute running and neat interplay, it wouldn’t be long, it couldn’t be long, it wasn’t long. Darren ‘nice haircut’ Lewis flighted another short cross into the box that the ‘Foel’ defender could only partly clear before Stuart ‘remember me’ Hemingway pounced like the goal scoring puma he is and walloped the white ball into the grey net. It’s a good thing footballs don’t have feelings. Two all.
The game was on, honours even but so much time left, how would the wind blow? Not well as it would turn out. Westend had removed the shackles of shame from their first half performance and were now going toe to toe with ‘Foel. Chances at each end, who would break first? Another ‘Foel attack tore down the Westend left, a cross maybe? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t (it was) either way from the fortuitous cross the ball glided to the top hand corner with speed. If it wasn't for the quick thinking acrobatic reflexes of Michael ‘humble’ Schildt it surely would have gone down as a great strike, as it was it was time to buy another scrapbook. What a save! Gary ‘I love goalkeepers’ Jones shed a tear on the sidelines in awe.
Felinfoel and Westend battled some more, exchanges were tough and unrepentant Domonic ‘braveheart’ Borelli had marked his man out of the game in the second half; keen to put in a performance in against his old club. Ollie ‘that’s more like’ Noor had regained his composure and once again was showing glimpses of his art. Stuart ‘back on fire’ Hemingway missed from a yard out with header that would have surely sealed the game. The striker was devastated by his shocking miss. That would have been enough to prevent the hammer blow that was around the corner. With yet another cross in to the Westend area and a great punch clear a ‘Foel midfielder picked up the ball and possessed in the moment by the skill of Johan Cruyff fired a drive into the top hand corner. Three two down. Horrible.
The game was almost over, the two teams spent like punch drunk boxers. Yet there was one more incident of note. Chris ‘you’ll get a new xbox game if you score’ Evans latched onto a through ball behind the last defender and strode to glory and calmly slotted home. Four three up, surely? No, the referee advancing in years had had a senior moment and called the move offside. Not doubt cataracts played a part in his decision. The game would end as it began, nothing but a story separating the teams. To Westend it felt like a defeat, to Felinfoel, well who cares what it felt like. More from the ‘End next week.
Westend United 6 - Calsonic 3
Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Llanelli, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where sporting blood makes sporting hands unclean. Such is the tale of competitive combat between Calsonic and Westend on a tumultuous Tuesday night that would break the serenity of the Penygaer sierra; for an hour or two at least.
With the autumn weather doing it's best to wreak havoc amongst the fixtures of the Carmarthenshire League this great event almost did not occur. Calsonic's pitch could not hold up to the drizzling rain and faint wind so the game was switched to the bowling greens of Penygaer, a decision which would suit the connoisseurs of the Westend footballing fraternity. The carpet-esque surface allowing silky movement and sharp foraging attacks, tonight there would be football and it would be fast and unforgiving.
Day 5 of the campaign brought a few surprises, notably in team selection. Dyfrig 'immortal' Frater was upfront leading the line with shock inclusion Stuart 'water on the knee' Hemingway, rumours that Rob 'the un-chosen one' Griffiths drained it with a McDonald's straw proved unfounded, as it was desire that would push Mr. Hemingway through the pain barrier not recovery from this crippling injury. This desire would manifest itself in the smooth waxed shape of Patrick 'I'm off to win things' Butchers a former Westend regular whose transfer in the summer sent shock waves all the way from the Co-op to Chalky's. Patrick 'Mensa' Butchers' own inclusion was also a surprise as a red card in a previous game had threatened to rule him out of his homecoming, however this was to be his last outing before the ban kicked in. Gary 'big brother' Jones' decision to sacrifice the pace of Jamie 'Guile' Williams for the ambling strides of Steve 'Big Mac' Preece sent confusing messages out to the rest of the team; what pictures of Gary did Steve possess? That aside the midfield was looking a mean and angry lot with Darren 'hotstuff' Lewis, Justin 'birthday boy' Austin and Chris 'back post' Evans completing the four. The back line were as strong as oxen, Paul 'air marshal' James, Jason 'sometimes' Harding, Dominic 'not again' Borelli and Ollie 'unshakeable' Noor were like a suicide bomber's vest, primed and reading to go. The goalkeeper Michael 'quiet man' Schildt was his own usual calm and professional self. Game on.
With the rain subsiding the surface was slippery and swift, with a light breeze blowing. It was a perfect night for football. It was Calsonic who looked more dangerous as they employed a long ball game, not always over the top but with intelligent movement to create space in the Westend back line. The going was tough for the Calsonic attack, Dominic 'iron man' Borelli was back from his heading sabbatical and was looking to put last Saturday's stinker behind him as he denied Mark 'slinking' Sargeant more times than Peter denied Jesus. Despite this Calsonic managed to squeak a corner which the Westend defense could only partly clear before a stinging drive looked for all the world to heading in the bottom corner until Michael 'flying squirrel' Schildt parried around the post to the dismay of the opposition attacking line. A quite brilliant save that
Westend continued to press and the continuation of penalty area fouls re-commenced this time Dyfrig 'bang bang' Frater put pay to anymore catastrophic refereeing decisions by rifling the ball home after Stuart 'hard target' Hemingway was once more set upon by a combination of goalkeeper and defender. Two nil.
Calsonic were rocking and Westend were rolling, Calsonic's only relief came from good work down the Westend left flank allowing an unknown striker to let fly from seven yards only to be once again cruelly denied by the magnificence of the Westend number one Michael 'safehands' Schildt. A crowd-pleasing save; another one from the Schildt back catalogue. With the whimpering Calsonic attack fading Westend once more stole a march on their dumbfounded foes with a searching run into the box culminating in yet another ridiculous foul. This time Simon 'enigma' Blacker got the decision right, penalty Westend. Darren 'what is happening to me this season' Lewis placed the ball on the spot. This was still not a comforting site to behold, the crowd could not look, the rest of the team could not look and thankfully the Calsonic keeper did not look. Three nil. Westend were at passport control for Dreamland. Neither team had played particularly well or badly yet this was the score as half time loomed like the party pooper it was. As the teams left the field the Calsonic manager approached Ollie 'I like gel in my hair' Noor and asked him to turn out his pockets, when he did so two Calsonic attackers fell out and rejoined their team for the half time break.
With the wise words of Gary 'up setter' Jones rebounding off everyone's ears during the interval Westend took to the pitch like a cat to water, not well. With only a few sporadic attacks and shaky defending ten minutes in and Calsonic had broken through the now soft back line of Westend with head tennis resulting in a cheeky goal. Three one.
Westend would now need to be brave and resolute, conceding another one would surely spread panic, and nobody likes panic. To mute any shaking nerves a combination of Justin 'quiet man' Austin and Stuart 'deadly' Hemingway conspired to keep the cushion to three. This time an
It was all going so well, Westend would keep the ball in their opponents half for as long as possible after the goal, and with one particular long spell producing a bizarre moment as former Westend midfielder Patrick 'short fuse' Butchers lashed out at the man he brought to the club Justin 'rock in midfield' Austin. Surprised by these events Justin 'maestro' Austin attempted to restrain the irksome midfielder but Simon 'honestly I'm not a ref' Blacker had seen enough. Two red cards followed and a topless Butchers paraded around the touchline like a man possessed. As this incident almost marred what had been a relativity relaxed game on the aggression front it was saved by another Stuart 'someone stop me' Hemingway goal, this time an unbelievable halfway line strike in the top hand corner that left the goalkeeper and all the spectators aghast. Surely the devil's work one onlooker was heard to say. Five one.
The game now much more open due to the lack of players continued in a similar vein to much of the first half with Westend on top and Calsonic chasing shadows. Still Calsonic hadn't given up; there was time for more goals as Simon 'intuition' Blacker's watch was clearly broken. Calsonic gained a free kick close to the halfway and from the resulting cross into the Westend box coupled with relaxed defending, the home side allowed another goal to squirm itself into the bottom corner. Five two.
This would not last however as Jamie 'I'm sick of missing all the time' Williams on for the influential Steve 'not really influential' Preece rushed forward like a crazy man intent on only one thing; a goal. Whoosh, Bang, Joy! He's only gone and done it. A truly inspirational drive into the top right hand corner only thirty seconds after the restart. Six two. Wow, what a guy.
Westend were home and hosed, but there was still time for a Calsonic special, a shot hit with more hope than ability found it's way into the top hand corner of the Westend net. A lucky strike finding fortune from the footballing gods. Six three.
The game was over, well almost. In the dying embers of an entertaining match Simon 'player friendly' Blacker showed up the dearth of referees that the Carmarthenshire league has to offer with another decision which only adds to the calls for him to be put to pasture in some sort of retirement home for the refereeing insane. Sending off a Calsonic player for a rash challenge that at best merited a yellow, but on the basis of Blacker's performance that evening it was a shock not to hear the 'play on, he didn't mean it' shout. A truly perplexing and inadequate performance from the man in black. Still onwards and upwards as Westend leapfrog Calsonic into fifth.
Westend United 5 - Llanelli Steel 2
There are eight million stories in the naked city and this is one of them. Four long days and four drawn out nights had passed since Westend's dark dealings with defeat and disgrace. Time enough to drive any man mad, bitter and unreasonable. Any longer without the opportunity for redemption would be unbearable. Two souls had already found the heat too hot and the scrutiny of the Westend goldfish bowl too great a burden to bear. Alex 'think of an injury' Day and Stuart 'water on the knee' Hemingway had succumbed to the pressure with psychosomatic injuries plaguing their match ravaged bodies. Time for fresh minds and positive spirits to vanquish the nightmares that had previously hung over the battle hardened harem of Westend talent epitomized in the inclusion of Steven 'fast food'Preece, er wait, what? That's it for freshness? Shocking. Still a brave new world awaited and Westend would heed the call. Steel you're getting done today.
Day four of the campaign would see the second home game in a week, and with the first ending on a sour note it would be imperative that things did not swing west again today. Steven 'Five cans of 'bow the night before is not a good way to prepare for your first 1st team start of the season' Preece would be the dog midfield that Westend had yearned for. Steven 'handful'
Despite Gary 'confidence builder' Jones' morale boosting tirade before the game, Westend started the first half in complete disarray, slack marking, awful positioning, in-fighting and a general disheveled demeanor made Llanelli Steel look more like Arsenal than the Accrington Stanley that their previous results had suggested. Another first half another cheap goal conceded from a corner. Ball swung over from the left-hand side a simple attacking header to catch for the Michael 'the Legend' Schildt ' but what's this? All the way from the Jason Harding back post manual Chris 'I know your calling for it but I don't care' Evans would slip in to head the ball to a freedom it did not want, only for it to be head pushed back from open play by a combination of Steel heads and into the net. One nil down. Hammer blow. What would become of us? In fighting continued, Paul 'man down' James issuing threats of abuse in a mean spirited way caused ripples of discontent to flow through the team. Dominic 'Titus Bramble' Borelli did little to quell the nerves with his own style of short suicide balls across the back line. The belief was dying, the game was running away from us we were one nil down and we only had a Jamie 'one on one machine' Williams' early miss and about twenty seven offsides from Steven 'wrong side' Hanford to show for all the energy that had been put in. Then from out of the blue a moment to capture the hearts and minds of a flagging team: a flash of green and black from Dyfrig 'defiant' Frater and a simple lay off three yards out allowed Justin 'lion king' Austin to finish with anger into the top hand corner and quell the uneasy nerves of the home team. One all.
Half time came around the corner like a welcome friend on a dark night offering solace from the confusing storm of the first half.
With the second half underway and with Messrs Rees and Griffiths biding their time there was a more combative feel to the game. Tackles were flying here and there, long balls floated down from their lofty heights and everywhere there appeared to be some tasty action there was Paul 'man down' James in the thick of it. Dominic 'two tackles' Borelli was having a sabbatical from heading which was stretching the defense, Steel noticed this timid approach and pressed hard. A rampaging run elicited a crunching challenge from the skipper 'play on' cried the referee (who was clearly out of his depth) and with a square ball found an unmarked forward in the box who had time and space in spades to pick out the top hand corner and glide the ball into the net and sink the battling hearts of Westend. Two one down. Gary Jones took the news the badly, the penygaer riverbanks were rising from his sweat. After a quick mull over, Steve 'no impact' Preece was hauled off for Darren 'bad boy' Rees again leaving Rob 'why God, why?'
Westend United 1 - Ponthenri 4
Day 3 of Westend's Carmarthenshire League campaign would be a tale of woe and misery. On their first home game so far Westend welcomed a vision of yellow and blue in the shape of Ponthenri with their colourful jackets and mass of supporters proving there is little to do in their hamlet on the outskirts of civilisation on a balmy Tuesday night. The mood in the changing room was eerily quite, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
There was a change in the Westend line up with el capitano Paul 'I'm no keeper' James saving himself for a horror show the following day, Darren 'I've played a full ninety and now I am crippled' Lewis out with back problems and Darren 'red mist' Rees serving the last of his three match ban for chesting an opponent. Still that left a strong enough squad to choose from especially with the return Jamie 'Hardman' Williams bringing his bag of tricks with him. Perhaps the biggest shock was the omission of Rob 'I've had a good game' Griffiths from the starting eleven who must be left wondering if anyone likes him. Don't worry Rob we've had a letter from your mother and she still does, but not in that way.
The weather was its usual sunny self and Penygaer pitch one was like a
Half time was a period of reflection and relief, a few words from
With the shellshock from the first half over the second started brightly, still no saviour in the form of Rob 'I can hit the bar from 25 yards'
Tumble 2 - Westend United 2
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Another stuffy day in the Carmarthenshire League saw battling Westend United take on the backwater might of Tumble. This was never going to be free flowing footballing feast, the fact that Tumble's new kit was more RFC than AFC should have sent alarm bells ringing.
Westend started the match without Alex 'ego' Day but with Chris 'running machine' Evans; a fair trade off. Once again Westend set to their task of conceding first and asking questions later. A fierce drive from a free kick fizzed through the wall and put the home team into the ascendancy. One nil Tumble. Now they had a taste for it and rampaging attack after rampaging attack did little to quell the Westend nerves. A half chance off the post from Chris 'whippersnapper' Evans had little impact on the performance and attitude, delicious as it was. Tumble would keep coming. Dominic 'Chopper' Borelli instigated the fight back with a crunching tackle by the corner flag which raised Westend's morale and put the Tumble player in a state of shock. More crunching challenges were to follow but Westend were looking spent, a few short passes to Jason 'what colour are we in again?' Harding ended up with the ball being redirected instantaneously to the Tumble number 6 who had free rein in the middle of the park. The half was ending and Westend were holding on. The referee's whistle was their only salvation.
With the half over it was up Gary 'new era' Jones to instil some belief into a team lacking any thrust. Danny 'one touch' Woods struggled to get to grips with the Tumble back line despite a gritty performance and was replaced by Rob 'Yes I can't believe he's with the firsts either' Griffiths with Dyffrig 'Iceman' Frater moving into attack. How would it pan out? Let's find out.
New half; new hope. The switch at half time worked a treat, Rob 'new man' Griffiths tore up the midfield with tough tackling, accurate passing and a desire more often associated with Karate Kid montages than football matches ' you're the best! Around! Nothing's ever going to keep you down, you're the best around! A surprisingly great impact from a much maligned midfielder. Within ten minutes of the restart Michael 'picking apples' Schildt sent a searching goal kick into the middle of the park, then with a nice flick on, BANG! Stuart 'the hitman' Hemingway was at it again: one all. With six goals in seven matches this young lad is in danger of catching fire he's so hot. The game was on, Tumble were scared and Gary Jones was smiling cheek to cheek (which is some achievement). Now all the glitz and glam came from the away team as Dyffrig 'nutmegs' Frater swaggered around the pitch popping the ball this way and that. It was no shock then that he would be the man of the hour on the stroke of the sixtieth minute to pick up a Rob 'that man again' Griffiths through ball to nonchalantly chipping the advancing 'keeper and send Westend into the lead, 2 - 1. Westend were in control, Paul 'one ankle' James was keeping the back line tight, Ollie 'left foot' Noor and Jason 'new nose' Harding marshalled the flanks with impressive verve and panache, Justin 'steve' Austin had the Tumble number 6 firmly in his pocket; all was well and looking rosy. As the game neared its conclusion Tumble started fighting back, the beast was not dead, not yet. One through ball released the Tumble number 9 into a one on one situation only to utterly disgrace his team, his family and himself by throwing himself to the floor in the box. The reason he did this is unsure, one theory was that someone shouted grenade and he panicked, but this is unconfirmed. Either way he ended up looking like a right tw*t. One chance gone. Shortly after there was another glimpse for Tumble. A deceptive long ball caught out the defence allowing the striker to finish from six yards only to be denied by the Dominic 'blocker' Borelli at the front post with a combination of hand and head. Stunning, absolutely stunning. Westend looked to have recovered their form and would surely close out the game, but no. From a cheeky corner and a fortunate header they would draw level. Deserved? Maybe. Disappointing? Definitely. The game ran to close with Borelli the master of the tackle keeping it quiet in the back and Hemingway and Frater drawing blanks up top. With the game ending two all it was a performance that had everything, unfortunately everything included not quite turning up for the first half. Two games unbeaten can be a springboard. Forza Westend.
N.B. On a positive note it is important to mention Darren 'jigsaw' Lewis who managed to play a full 90 minutes for over 5 years. Well done Des.
Wellfield 1 - Westend United 1
On a sun soaked People's Park pitch Westend United began their 2010 Carmarthenshire League campaign. The new season had arrived. With temperatures into the eighties, a pitch the size of a small airfield and an opposition with an average age of 22 this was going to be fast, this was going to be punishing, this was going to be football; Carmarthenshire League style.
With Wales' equivalent to Stuart Atwell officiating anything could happen. The game kicked off with Westend playing into the sun. The children of Wellfield wasted no time in rampaging forward with attacks the likes of which were last seen in Tora Tora Tora! The Westend defence was resolute, Paul James captaining the side stood firm, marshalling a strong back line of game hardened defenders. On occasion Westend offered glimpses of the ability they are known to have. Stuart 'roid' Hemingway and Danny 'newboy' Woods lead the line with a half chance here and a half chance there, nothing of to write home about though. As the sun beat down sapping the stalwarts in midfield Wellfield surged forward. A free kick 25 yards out was fizzed into the top corner only to be beaten away by a truly acrobatic save by the ex Welsh League and previous Star Cup player of the tournament Michael Schildt. The home side deflated by the brilliance of the stop. As the game neared the end of the first half a contentious descision would produce the first talking point and the first goal. With Paul James' desire to head clear he was adjudged to nudge into a Wellfield player. The jury was out on that one but from the resultant penalty Wellfield took the lead.
Ray Jones rallied the team with a rousing Churchillian speech during the interval and Westend were once again hungry. The introduction of Matthew Armstrong at the break was a tactical master stroke; he covered the midfield like a warm blanket on a winter night, shutting out any probing Wellfield attacks. It wouldn't be long before Danny 'the nuisance' Woods would cause problems in the Wellfied penalty area. It was with a foray ten minutes in that baffled the defense and bang! He was down. Penalty Westend. Up stepped Stuart 'I've missed these before' Hemingway to stroke home the equalizer with aplomb, the rest of the Westend team could breath out. Now it was about going for it. Dyffrig 'bit of a cold' Frater was introduced for Danny Woods and the game was on. Some terrific defending and counter attacking down the channels by Ollie 'Hardman' Noor and Jason 'Cat' Harding tore up the Wellfield back line, helped with Tarl 'still got some legs' Taylor searching crosses, it was looking good for Westend. Wellfield weren't out of it yet and pushed back, there was still two sides in the game. Darren 'I haven't got a full 90 in me' Lewis was taken off with 15 to go. Chris 'run all day' Evans came on and immediately set about tormenting the Fujian winger in his way. But it was Westend who ended up under the kosh, with a fierce drive from 10 yards out expertly tipped around the side by sheer agility and sharpness of Westend's number one Mr. Schildt. And again with a free kick on the edge of the box courtesy of a bumbled Borelli tackle and the Westend wall resembling the Berlin Wall circa November 1989 a dipping strike was pushed over the bar with consummate ease. Despite the pressure Messrs Hemingway and Taylor contrived to produce an opening with a glorious 25 yard volley beaten wide by a fortunate save. As the game came to a close both teams looked spent and honours were even. In an exhilarating performance of free flowing football and chances galore it was the right result. Roll on Tumble.
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