Tornadoes hit Tadley Calleva Centurions for six
Whilst also building momentum and moving up the table.
On the road for the first time since September, Thatcham Tornadoes Black arrived at AWE to face Tadley Calleva Centurions, another old rival who had provided tough competition in the past!
The Blacks, employing an experimental 4-4-2 formation, started on the front foot and fortuitously took the lead after just four minutes. Jack and Micah exchanged passes to find Henry in space, who tried a speculative long-range shot, which the Tadley goalkeeper somehow fumbled over the line.
A flowing move three minutes later doubled the lead, as Will released Jack down the right wing before arriving at the far post to beat the keeper to Jack’s deep cross, and score from a tight angle.
The Tornadoes continued to have the lion’s share of possession and territory, and created several clear-cut opportunities to increase their lead. Zack’s deft flick sailed wide from a well delivered Matthew free kick, whilst both Will and Micah had shots on target blocked by the Tadley defence.
As the Blacks continued to dominate Micah had a shot clip the crossbar, Henry had a long-range effort well saved by the Tadley keeper and Luca saw his effort fly wide after a Tornadoes corner had been cleared. Thatcham finally broke Tadley’s dogged resistance with two quick goals. George’s persistence was rewarded after he pursued a hopeful clearance to steal the ball off the Tadley defence and slot past the keeper, whilst Micah pressured the Calleva’s backline into losing possession, allowing Murray to sweep the ball home to give the Blacks a deserved 4 - 0 lead.
Tadley remained dangerous on the counterattack and had a couple of chances on the half hour mark. The first blasted over from a free kick; the second thwarted by Luca chasing down a breakaway and clearing for a corner.
The Black’s scored for a fifth time on the stroke of half time when Daisy and Abi combined to set Micah free to run from half way and confidently beat the Tadley keeper.
Tornadoes reverted to a more familiar 3-5-2 for the second half, but the pattern of the first half remained the same; plenty of opportunities created whilst Oliver, Luca and James competently dealing with any Tadley attacks. The Blacks could have extended their lead early in the second half when Matthew’s cross shot just missed the target and Will’s header set up Zack for another opening. Tadley continued to frustrate Thatcham as Will, George and Micah all had shots blocked whilst Oliver’s burst down the right from full back led to Zack testing the Tadley keeper from close range.
A long clearance from Jacob freed Jack for another shot well saved by the Tadley keeper and Zack headed wide from a free kick, as the backs maintained the pressure
It took until the final minute of the second half before the Tornadoes added a sixth goal. Aidans shot was charged down and from the resulting corner the Tadley keeper misjudged the flight of the ball leaving Jack to head into an empty net.
6-0 flattered Tadley somewhat as Tornadoes should have been well out of sight in this game t half time.
The Man of the Match was James Matthews, a great display in defence and made some great interceptions and tackles.