Top of the table clash
by Mike Stephenson on March 4th, 2013

Saturday 2nd March 2013
Mid Solent Youth League U11 A Division
Whiteley Wanderers Lions v Crofton Saints Lions
Meadowside, Whiteley

It was a cold day at Meadowside for this top-of-the-table clash and it was the home side that got the match under way. Within seconds they were threatening the Lions goal. However, the Lions weathered the initial storm and began to defend strongly. Indeed, although struggling to get forward under pressure, it was the Lions who looked most likely to score when a corner from the Lions left brushed Benjamin Lolljowaheer’s head and rolled agonisingly across the goal with just the merest of touches needed to send it in. Then Kai Sterne beat the Whiteley defence but put his shot too close to the keeper allowing him to get down and save. With both side cancelling each other out there was little flowing football, but it was still an enthralling match up to then. Overall, Whiteley had shaded the first half possession but it was the Lions that came closest to scoring.
The second half began much like the first with the home side putting on the pressure whilst the Lions defended stoutly. That is until eight minutes into the half when Whiteley fluked the opening goal. It was one of those things when a hopeful lob forward sailed in over the keeper’s head – a fallacy of young boys playing in full-size goals. But it is the same for all teams. Three minutes later the Lions could and should have levelled the scores. Josh Fox broke into the Whiteley penalty area and was promptly pushed the floor. He took the kick himself but his tame shot was nothing more than a routine save for the home team keeper. This was the Lions fourth penalty miss of the season. You make your own luck, so they say. Whiteley had made the most of theirs whilst the Lions had spurned theirs. This seemed to change the whole complexion of the game and for a period of ten minutes the dispirited Lions were in disarray. As if to emphasis how well the Lions had defended up to then Whiteley took advantage of the Lions lapse in play to bang in two more goals. At this point the Lions could have folded but they came back – strongly. They pulled one back through a deft Baran Sener flick and almost pulled back another when a cross from the left almost reached the unmarked Josh Fox standing in the six-yard box. However, the home keeper got down quickly to cut out the danger. The Lions finished the stronger in the last period of play but the deficit was too large and time was running out. Whiteley had taken their chances well – and its goals that count. But it was cruel result for the Lions.

Final Score:  Whiteley Wanderers Lions   3 - 1   Crofton Saints Lions

Scorer for Crofton Saints Lions: Baran Sener


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