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13 May 2012
Wirebirds vs Scouts
Wirebirds vs Scouts St Helena football

Darrin Henry, SHBC

Wirebirds recorded their second straight win of the season, beating Scouts 2-1 on Sunday 13 May.

As early as the first minute Scouts looked a little rusty; captain Phillip Francis misjudged a pass, allowing it to slip under his foot, while Wirebirds, in contrast, were quick and energetic from the start. The first corner of the game went to Scouts, taken by Martin Henry; this was quickly cleared and Wirebirds, all in white, broke away with a speedy counter-attack led by front man Jamie Thomas. His cross from the left was intercepted by Scouts defender, Declan Clifford, who calmly headed back to his keeper.
The rest of the first half followed a similar pattern with the youthful Wirebirds looking the more dangerous on the break. Dane Leo, one of our cricketing stars who returned from South Africa only the day before, was playing up front with Thomas and the two of them were a constant threat all game. From midfield another youngster, Alex Osborne, showed great control and awareness on the ball.
Wirebirds first goal came after 14 minutes. The ever alert Jamie Thomas raced onto yet another through ball and slotted a low drive past keeper Deon Yon.

Scouts did get themselves together for a period of pressure midway through the first half, and should have drawn level on a few occasions. Jamie Peters went on a mazy run into the box, dribbling past a few players. The ball popped up against one of the Wirebirds defenders to loud, but unsuccessful appeals for a handball from the Scouts. Then on 30 minutes, a key moment. A raised foot challenge in midfield brought Scouts a free kick about 30 yards out, to the left of goal. Phillip Francis, with the advantage of a strong breeze, fired in a looping shot that crashed against the top of the bar, bouncing high and back down inside the six yard line. There was a frantic scramble as both sets of players threw themselves into the melee to win the ball. When the whistle went it took a while to realise it was for a penalty, given against Martin 'Kunya' Buckley for pushing. Gareth Walton took the spot kick which was saved with an outstretched left hand by Leroy Plato.
Half time 1-0. In the second period Wirebirds were now kicking towards Red Hill end; a strong breeze behind them, they continued to dominate the play.

On 55 mins Leroy Fowler doubled the white's lead. Scouts were caught defending on their 18 yard line again and when the ball fell kindly for Fowler he volleyed in a powerful shot that smacked the far post on its way into the back of the net. Fowler commented afterwards. "It came perfectly to me. The goalkeeper had no chance."

Scouts eventually managed to pull a goal back, but it wasn't enough. With 9 mins of play remaining Jamie Peters wriggled free of three defenders, making space for a low shot across the keeper and into the back of the net to make it 2-1. Scouts managed to apply a period of sustained pressure for the last 10 minutes, and at one spell should have had another penalty when Leroy Fowler instinctively blocked the ball with his right arm. But he got away with it. In the closing minutes Wirebirds almost scored a third when Alistair Buckley, on as a sub, was through on goal and only the keeper to beat. Deon Yon came out and spread himself to make a good save.

In the 90th minute Leroy Fowler rose highest in the box to meet a looping cross, but placed his header over the bar.
A good win for Wirebirds. Unfortunately for Scouts that's now 2 defeats in 2 games, their team captain Phillip Francis spoke after the game. "We played pretty well. We've got a couple of injuries with the boys out on our wings; we really struggled not having them onboard. Overall though, good game, fair, with chances for both teams, but I just feel they played better. The chances we had we didn't finish them, didn't take advantage of it."

Leroy Fowler who scored Wirebirds second, now has 3 goals for the season. "It was quite a difficult game, but after we got into it we dominated. Last week we played with 10 men and this week was so much better with 11 from the start, although we were missing key players for the first half. Jamie Thomas was excellent up front. He has pace and lots of skill."

Declan Clifford of Scouts acknowledged what made it a difficult game for them. "The speed of the Wirebirds front men. We couldn't really play the off-side trap because if we played too high up they could out run us and that made it really difficult."


In the second game on Sunday, Fugees beat Crystal Rangers 4-3. Kevin Hudson scored a hat trick with Gavin Ellick, better known as Eddie Duff, adding a fourth for Fugees. Crystal Rangers goals were scored by Liam Yon and 2 by Ajay Bennett.





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