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Twinwoods Thistle

Twinwoods suffer heavy loss in opening fixture

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29 August 2007 | spuff

Twinwoods continue where they left off last season by suffering a heavy loss to Wilstead Reserves in there opening Division 3 fixture

On a pleasant August bank holiday evening, Twinwoods Thistle emerged
from the changing rooms wearing their orange and black strip looking forward to kicking off their season against Wilstead Reserves.

During a prematch interview moments before kick off, Manager Neil Hannam
stated it was going to be a hard game with Wilstead expected to field a
number of first team players.

With a selection crisis on the new Managers hands, Neil rattled the 22 man
squad down to a final 15, adopting a 5-4-1 formation to start with.

The line up was as follows:

GK: Adam Geary
LB: Paul Guthrie
RB: Ben Ewang
SW: Neil Hannam
CB: Asim Majid
CB: Grant Donaldson
LM: James Ridgeon
RM: Ali Inwood
CM: Nick Shaw
CM: Craig Cook
SC: Baz Hannam

Subs: Nick Payne, Ben McCarthy, James Gleave and Alex Sommers.

With no ref available, former TTFC Player Manager Scott Hannam took the
whistle and brought the two skippers together to lay down the law :)

The game kicked off and TTFC started the brightest side attempting to
breakthrough the Wilstead defence, but failing on each occasion. Within
10 minutes the game turned with Wilstead finally having their turn at
pounding the TTFC defence. With some fine tackles and great saves from
Adam Geary, TTFC held their own against the onslaught. With the gap
between defence and attack growing bigger and bigger, it wasnt too long
before Wilstead broke the deadlock. Some good play down the left wing
saw Wilstead win a throw. The ball was hurled into the near post where
the Wilstead striker was given time to turn two TTFC players and volley
the ball home from an acute angle.

The half time whistle was finally blown and TTFC were lucky to find themselves only one goal behind at the break.

Neil Hannam made one change at half time, opting to rest Nick Shaw who
looked tired and bringing on Nick Payne to partner Baz Hannam up front.
The formation also changed to a 4-4-2, with Neil Hannam playing
alongside Asim Majid and Grant Donaldson pushing into the vacant gap
left by Nick Shaw.

The second half kicked off and again TTFC were on the backfoot. Wilstead
broke through the TTFC midfield breaking down the right wing before
swinging in a low cross for the Wilstead striker to tap home.

Neil Hannam made another substitution, with Ben Ewang suffering a groin
injury, new bow Alex Sommers fitted into the left back position and Paul
Guthrie swapping over to the right.

Alex proved to be a good contender for the left back spot with some very
good support play and making some excellent challenges. But this did not
stop Wilstead scoring again. Around the 60 minute mark they broke
through the defence again and put the ball in the back of net to go into a 3-0 lead.

Neil Hannam made his final substitution bringing on Ben McCarthy down
the left wing and taken off James Ridgeon. For the next 5 minutes TTFC
seemed to wake up again as they started to pound with some excellent
play down the left. Ben McCarthy then put in a strong run as the ball
found its way to Baz Hannams feet, which he volleyed over the keepers
head and into the net. The TTFC fans who gave tremendous support through
the fixture, erupted in celebration.

But this was short lived as once again TTFC took their foot off the gas
and were caught on the counter attack. The Wilstead midfield and attack
charged forward leaving the TTFC defence outnumbered. The ball finally
fell to the their left winger and sprinted down the right and managed to
slot the ball home before Neil Hannam could get his challenge in.

The game ended 4-1 which was an unfair scoreline overall. The match saw
some very good individual performances from Craig Cook who ran his
socks off, Ben McCarthy had some very good spells during the game. New
boy Alex Sommers and James Ridgeon also showed their potential.

After the match Neil Hannam stated although the result did not go our
way, the team battled hard and it will take a few games before the new side
start to gel together. I was pleased with the team effort, but also will
be looking to rotate players over the next few weeks to ensure the squad
gets a good run out.

When asked by the reported about who would Captain the team Neil Hannam
stated he had seen leadership from a couple of players during tonights
match and would be approaching them shortly

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