Report: Whyteleafe 1-0 Westfield
A perfect Autumn evening for football on Tuesday saw the Leafe take on Bostik South Central side, Westfield FC.
A meagre crowd of less than sixty for what turned out to be an intriguing Surrey Senior Cup first round match. First our opponents. Westfield are based in the Westfield district of Woking and clearly came to Church Road with a game plan.
As Leafe boss, Harry Hudson said “They’d done their homework and were well up for the game.”
A largely cagey first-half with both sides seeming to cancel each other out although both went close with a couple of chances each. Leafe grabbed what turned out to be the decider in the 37th minute when the hugely impressive (early candidate for player of the season, surely?) Brad Wilson converted a penalty after Lauris Chin was brought down in the box, by a tackle from behind.
Taking of ‘Chinny’ I’d love to know what his 100-metre sprint times are as his pace seems incendiary at times, which certainly puts fear into opposing central defenders not happy when they are faced with a fast centre forward. He was a constant threat to the Westfield defence in the second half in particular.
Harry Hudson also took the opportunity to play some of the squad players on Tuesday evening giving them invaluable game time, while also resting some first teamers for the big test this Saturday away to Tonbridge Angels in first qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.
Westfield looked a very capable team, with plenty of determination and some lively wingers and it seems odd that they sit in a lowly fourteenth place in their league at the time of writing. They definitely seemed like one of the better organised sides Leafe have faced this season. Another positive sign though of how far Harry Hudson’s team have progressed. This was a real test for them. Another one they passed, too!
It was a shame that what seemed like a good match played by two teams looking to play football, in a good-natured spirit, saw centre-back Ricardo Thompson dismissed in the 70thminute for a second bookable offence.
This, naturally enough, saw Westfield do what one would expect in their situation of being a goal down with twenty minutes to play and a man to the good. They threw the proverbial kitchen sink at us. However, they huffed, puffed but couldn’t get past our defence, superbly shepherded by, captain for the evening, Corey Holder, and Oli Webber in goal.
Really good to see Gus Lukini back in the starting eleven and back near his very best.
Having already used his three permitted substitutes, Harry was forced into a bit of reorganisation, with Scott day once again proving his versatility, by playing the last 20 minutes at centre-half. How good it is to see to Scott back, by the way.
1 Oli Webber 2 Brad Wilson (Goal pen 37’) 3 Matt O’Donoghue 4 Nick Akoto 5 Ricardo Thompson 6 Corey Holder (capt) 7 Simon Offei (sub Harrison Carnegie) 8 Bryan Akongo (sub Marvin Armstrong) 9 Lauris Chin 10 Scott Day 11 Gus Lukini (sub Bentley Graham).
Subs Not Used: 13 Tyler McCarthy 14 Eddie Dsane