Westville Boys’ High manages a win despite not looking their best

2014-07-29 00:00

IN the first soccer clash of the new term, Westville Boys’ High School welcomed Michaelhouse on Saturday.

Starting well at a cracking tempo and moving the ball well, it wasn’t long before the hosts were ahead. From a set piece, Bradley Smith chipped into the box where Lindo Buthelezi found the net. His glancing header went into the bottom right corner and Westville had struck within the first five minutes.

Thereafter, it became a little scrappy as Westville lacked composure and struggled to convert their chances. Michaelhouse’s defence stood firm, while Westville looked vulnerable and uncertain against the long ball used by the visitors. This allowed Michaelhouse to exploit some space between Westville’s midfield and defence as the home side made some poor decisions.

However, Westville did switch the ball well at times and looked meaningful on attack. The wings looked threatening but needed to use more width on attack, while the set pieces were more constructive. Here Westville set up chances from long throws and corners.

Enjoying the advantage at the break, Westville seemed to lack urgency and finesse in the second half. They looked the poorer for it and attempted to play short football that Michaelhouse closed down quickly.

Taking a leaf from Michaelhouse’s book, Westville started to use the long ball effectively. This enabled them to use the left and right channels to get the ball to their strikers and behind the Michaelhouse midfield.

However, matters were level in the 51st minute when Westville were caught on the break. Taking a throw deep in the Michaelhouse half, Westville’s Tiger Ndimande was caught in possession on the edge of the box.

The resultant long ball saw the Westville defence at sixes and sevens, allowing the visitors to volley home.

Two minutes later, Westville restored their lead — Brad Hunter playing a wide ball to Robin Peterson.

His early cross found Buthelezi who hammered home for his and Westville’s second goal.

Michaelhouse did have a chance to salvage a draw, a long ball played behind the Westville defence providing a heart-stopping moment. With just the keeper to beat, the ball was pushed wide and Westville held out for a 2-1 win.

Despite the win, Westville lacked urgency and purpose. They need to be more ruthless and convert their chances. However, there is comfort that they managed to win while not at their best, which bodes well for the season.

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