Adults First Match
By Paul Williams
A Historical evening
A historical night as our first ever adult side faced Wirral Allstars in their first match in the Chester and Wirral Flexi 11s League. The lads arrived early, with a few worried faces evident as they walked onto the sizeable pitch to warm up.
Representing Hoylake were 14 coaches, parents and close connections of the club. The squad consisted of Danny Young (player/manager) Luke Williams, Aarron Hewitt, Jason Ebbrell, Jason Hayden, Steve Wilkinson, Phil Spiers, Paul Greenslade, Dave Young, Gav Davies, Craig Baron, Danny Williams, Sean Nulty and Andy Pollard.
We could immediately see we were going to be up against it, as Steve W was upended within the first few seconds as a result of quick closing down from kickoff by a clearly younger (by some 10 years on average) Wirral side. Their bright start led to an early first chance falling to the opposition forcing Luke into a sharp save. Unfortunately a few moments later Gav felt “something pop in his thigh” resulting in his departure, to be replaced by Sean. The sustained Wirral pressure led to the opener on about 8mins, with a left footed strike skipping in off the damp surface.
From here Hoylake, although sometimes struggling with the pace of the opposition’s closing down and ability to retain possession, managed to grow into the game more and more, with Danny W having a shot fly narrowly wide and Greeny firing over from long range. A tireless defensive effort to keep Wirral at bay, including multiple well defended corners was undone when Wirral were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time, which was duly converted leaving the scoreline at 0-2.
An inspirational half time tactical brief from manager Danny Y led to a much improved second half display, with the midfield pairing of Greeny and Danny himself dictating the tempo of much of the play with good passing and moving evident. One of such flowing moves led to our first goal, with a superb through ball supplied by Greeny being latched on to and finished by Phil Spiers. 1-2. Despite another strong defensive half and a sharp save from Luke to tip round the post from close range, Wirral were able to nab a third and put the game to bed as we pushed for an equaliser in the dying minutes.
Overall, an encouraging first showing against a quicker and younger side including many regular West Cheshire league players. Onwards and upwards from here.
The team appreciates the support on the night of the player’s wives, children and other coaches, not to mention Cheshire FA who were in attendance providing the live feed via Twitter and an interview with our club chairman Paul Williams.