POSTED: February 25 2016 22:52:14. By Oscar Courtney - FRIENDLY: U11 Tornadoes V Winton Wanderers Orange

Saturday 13th February, Salford Sports Village, KO 1pm.

This was a really tough encounter for the Tornadoes who were missing five key players, including their regular goal keeper! Unfortunately, as repeated in other matches, the Tornadoes found themselves in arrears as the first half came to a close. Winton were a more switched on outfit and deservedly went in to the break with a very healthy lead. Undaunted, some formation changes saw the Tornadoes start to make an impression on the game. However, a penalty to Winton, which was converted, meant that the Tornadoes had an even bigger mountain to climb. And to be fair to the boys they met that challenge head on! A swift riposte from Joe Hope, in the form of a brilliant daisy cutter from the edge of the penalty area, sent the Winton keeper the wrong way. With 15 minutes to go that goal from Joe just inspired the whole team and they got better and bolder. A brilliant double save, from stand in keeper Callum Looby, was soon matched by a mesmerising mazy run from new signing Alan Kay. Alan picked the ball up from the edge of the area and rounded two Winton defenders before cooly slotting the ball past a rooted Winton keeper. An excellent goal from Alan, only playing his second game for the club! An earlier chance for a brace from Alan was passed up when he saw his penalty effort saved by the Winton keeper. However, it takes a brave man to step up and take a penalty and despite that miss the game ended with a more respectable scoreline from the Tornadoes point of view. Although, I was initially despondent in my post match team talk, a weekend of reflection and feedback from our Assistant Manager Ricky, has led me to revise that viewpoint. The boys didn't give in. Despite the usual sluggish start they kept plugging away and got the rewards that their efforts deserved. They were undaunted and never threw the towel in. For that they deserve a lot of credit and an apology from me. I was frustrated and dejected at the first half performance but they proved me wrong in the second half and I'm absolutely delighted about that. And, as Ricky pointed out, we won the second half 2 -1. Special mentions to Jamie Butterworth and Harrison Birkett who played exceptionally well. But, Man of the Match went to Will Whipday who once again showed his versatility and battling spirit throughout the 60 minutes.

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