Last weekend Whitenap headed abroad for their annual tour, with Tilburg in Holland this year’s destination.
They played local side Goudswaardse Boys where they won an entertaining game 4-3 – only the third time in nine tours that they have returned home victorious!
Despite a midday kick off, Whitenap took the game to their hosts with Kevin Wood, Pete Beeching, Danny Tiroke and veteran Jon Lavers dominating the midfield exchanges.
Dan Hansford, playing at left wing, was a constant thorn in the opposition’s side and their defence had no answer to his marauding runs.
Having gone close several times, Hansford bagged a well taken brace to put Whitenap two up; firstly beating the opposition’s right back to finish sublimely with a low strike and then at the keeper’s near post following good work from Matt Pile.
But the Romsey outfit would be left to rue several missed opportunities before half time. Pete Robinson, playing in goal, gave an early call to collect a free kick, but Lavers unfortunately ignored the call and the ball skimmed off the top of his head and into the back of the net.
Then, a minute before half time, Whitenap failed to clear their lines and a Goudswaardse player finished well from the edge of the area.
To their credit, Whitenap started the second half exactly as they had the first, and another Hansford run saw him finish neatly past the onrushing goalkeeper.
Then Hansford became the provider as he played the ball to Pile to tap in from a few yards.
The defence of Richard Blake, Simon Higgins, Ben Meehan and Dan Collins – making his debut for the club – was strong and even adopted the Dutch style of total football in passing the ball out from the back to set up further attacks.
The hosts refused to give up and, on 80 minutes, they pulled a controversial goal back, but despite making a number of changes, Whitenap held on for a deserved victory, although they again had goalkeeper Robinson to thank for a crucial last-minute save.
Whitenap are next in action on Sunday, 7th September, when what remarkably will be their 20th Sunday League season kicks off with an away game at FC Exchange.