On Friday, Westlake took on St. Peter’s College in their final home game of the season. The team knew that 3 points was essential if they were to hit their target of a 3rd place finish in the league.
All appeared to be going to plan when Joe Benbow opened the scoring inside five minutes. The striker was first to react to a parried shot and tapped home from close range. Although the side were in the lead, this was a fractured performance where Westlake did not retain possession to any great effect. At half-time, the scored remained 1-0 but Westlake were anything but comfortable, having had to call GK Bradley Williams into action on a number of occasions.
St. Peter’s pulled themselves back level in the second half when the Westlake defence were caught napping, allowing an SPC striker to apply the goal bound touch to a neat move. The equaliser rallied Westlake somewhat and their brief resurgence was rewarded with a fine counter attacking goal. A strong run from Joe Benbow saw him get behind his marker on the right side of the goal, his accurate cross then found the left foot of Dan Mitten who duly slotted the ball into a largely unguarded net.
Westlake were back in front and now sought to hang for the victory. A lack of ball retention in key areas was still proving to be a problem and ensured that this game was never one that Westlake were in control of. This lack of control, coupled with a lack of concentration proved to be Westlake’s downfall. In the final five minutes, they abandoned their marking duties at a corner and allowed a SPC player a simple finish from close range. The game was drawn level and thankfully it stayed that way as SPC made a late surge for the spoils.
Westlake will look upon this game as one they should be winning but an absence of control on the ball and a lack of willingness to defend with the correct mindset has again cost them dearly. The highlight of the fixture were the opportunities given to more Year 10 and 11 players who performed well on the night.
The league season finale for Westlake will now be an away trip to Saint Kentigern College on Saturday at 12pm.