THE MIGHTY IV’s: IT’S A TEN FROM THEM
The Willetts “boys” bag 7; Ageless Keith Willetts (68) hits a high 5!
This week's match report courtesy of the maestro himself, Murray Creed.
Picture it; the late show at Grange Rd against Olton, at an hour when the last steaks are being sold at The Eric Lyons emporium in Knowle; a parliament of crows were in full voice in the woods at the bottom of the ground; A small crowd assembled as the game drew on comprising Lyons, Bettridge, Lane (P) - names of a line-up to gladden the frosty December hearts of any Sils connoisseurs! A welcomed “returner” too in Andy Jackman – it didn’t seem he’d been away.
38 shots on goal; goals for 10; “hit a post” 6 times; goals against 0; 5 seven-pass combinations (the “Steve Aylin” stat of stats).
The attack all rapiers, speed and devilment; the midfield purring like a tuned Austin Heeley Sport working tirelessly; the defence determined & disciplined under the defensive co-ordinator Colonel “Mad Dog” Higgins.
First attack in the 2nd minute – a shot from Andy Rush parried by the goalkeeper to Keith Willetts who fired a crisp venomous shot – 1-0. The Sils pressure was like Hurricane Angus, attacks driving in from all sides, crashing in on the Olton goal. The goalkeeper – monstrous all in black – pulled another fine save from Andy Rush who followed up with a great solo run in which he beat three defenders and the goalkeeper only to hit the post and watch to the ball squirt away towards the corner flag. It might have been one of those days but Sils had other ideas. From the first penalty corner on 12 minutes John Harrison hit the post. The momentum continued to grow resulting in a further penalty corner when two of the forwards went close to scoring. The next penalty, in short time, led to a reverse stick shot by Alex Willetts which was saved but father Keith – the old poacher - slotted home – 2-0. Further opportunities were created between the midfield and attack with great chances falling to Andy Rush & Keith Willetts; was only the keeper keeping Sils at bay. Tricky work by Murray Creed on the back line created a further penalty corner and interplay between John Harrison, Andy Rush produced a goal for Alex Willetts – 3-0. The opportunities kept coming as the attack cut through on goal. A great half with 17 shots on goal.
The second half started without Sam Teal but the reshuffle had no impact on the team who took up where they had left off. The start of the 2nd half was impressive. Slick interplay between the midfield and forwards resulting in Keith Willetts scoring his hat-trick – 4-0. Great determination by Andy Rush in the D taking on several defenders, as he darted here and there like the Scarlett Pimpernel, led to a great individual goal – 5-0. The tide was bound to turn and Sils defence were called into action. Tackles by Mick Lane, Craig Ffitch, Tony Jamieson, James Gregory and the skipper kept Olton at bay as they tried to break the shackles. When Olton did manage to get a sight of Yogi’s goal he pulled off 2 great shot stops to keep Olton’s attack out. The pressure led to Olton’s first penalty corner. It was resolutely defended. Again, the tide turned. The Sils “sunny” hockey returned. Skilful interplay between Keith Willetts, Andy Rush and Andy Jackman led to a shot by Jackman which was parried and then put away for Andy Rush – 6-0. A great pass by Alex Willetts to John Harrison who was in a wilderness of space was followed by a pass and Andy Rush striking at goal. The shot was parried and Alex Willetts put the loose ball way at the second attempt – 7-0. The pressure continued with Alex Willetts hitting the post when well placed. Keith Willetts, hungry for more goals, showed more flair in front of goal to score his fourth – 8-0. When he tried the same again he was denied by both posts! Fine positional play by John Harrison saw him strike a great pass to Andy Rush to set up Keith Willetts for his fifth – 9-0. The fine open play continued leading to Andy Rush rounding off the scoring fest – 10-0. It was a great team effort. Man of the match? The Old Poacher who else!
The match time meant a late finish. But there was just time for a pint (and a half) of Spitfire in Olton’s Members bar before leaving dreaming of that steak…dream on!
Score Time Scorers
1-0 1m 26 Keith Willetts
2-0 17m Keith Willetts
3-0 27m Alex Willetts
4-0 39m Keith Willetts
5-0 42m Andy Rush
6-0 49m Andy Rush
7-0 56m Alex Willetts
8-0 62m Keith Willetts
9-0 68m Keith Willetts
10-0 69m Andy Rush