Sunday 27th January, The mighty Hurricanes took on the Sharks......
Wild and varied weather doesn’t really do it justice, with strong winds, rain, snow and sunshine all in the space of an 80 minute game. For only the 2nd time in the season we had a full team turn out. We talked about the Sharks game in the briefing (in the warm) with their strongest players in the back line. Our lads were very focused in the warm up lead by Jacob, the passing and the pressing drills. Ben M, Ollie and Lewis were on long ball delivery practice working with Jake. The Sharks won the decision to play with the wind in the first half.
A nervous start for the Hurricanes, with the Sharks pressing hard in the first few exchanges. Once the Hurricanes settled into the game, they started applying their own pressure and were winning the ball back all over the park. The Sharks initial pressing backed off as a result. They were able to get the ball moving up the pitch quickly and delivered into the box from multiple angles….just couldn’t quite get on the end of it or setup the shooting opportunity. Direct attacks weren’t quite working either with the Sharks keeper quick off his line to sweep up and the Sharks defenders getting the blocks in. Even the long range shots weren’t finding the target. Our defence worked hard to deal with the Sharks’ counter attacks when they happened. From our angle it looked like Adam was tripped just inside the box but the penalty wasn’t given.
The main feedback at half time was that the lads were working hard to get the ball back and making progress with the simple football, but the more complex/hopeful passing just working well. Ben A's foot injury and Adam’s thigh strain meant they needed resting at half time.
And as the second half started, so did the weather. With the rain turning to snow/sleet and the wind starting to gust. The Hurricanes were camped in the Sharks half for most of the 40 minutes, working the ball through the crowded space and maintaining possession. The longer passes seen in the first half were switched for shorter passing game, which was working the ball around the Sharks much more effectively. Dan and Max also picked up injuries early on so had to be taken off, and then eventually Marcus too. There were shots, headers from corners, goal mouth scrambles, crosses into the box, cut-backs for shots and 1-on-1s with the keeper….but unfortunately no goal. Jake had to make 1 save from the only Shark shot. And then finally the sun came out!!
Like last time, credit to the Sharks for their last ditch defending to keep the Hurricanes out, parking the bus made it difficult. But more importantly, well done to our lads for trying everything today and for working hard right to the final whistle. Everything we’ve done in training plus more was used today. Just couldn’t take any of the chances they created.
Thank you to everyone for braving the weather to support and thank you to Graeme for running the line.
Todays point puts the Hurricanes up into 3rd place on the same points/games played as Bourne and Burpham. All 3 teams are 3 points behind leaders Badshot but with 2 games in hand. In the cup top of the Premier Elite Balham (who knocked Hurricanes out of the cup 4-2) beat 2nd place Bourne 9-0.