Fortunately the rain just about kept away for the game. Badshot’s wide pitch was soft but in good condition. The grounds are getting a lot softer quickly with all the rain. Today we were missing Jake, Nathan, Adam, Jack and James, giving us just 12 players.
From the kick off it was going to be a physical game with both teams trying to keep the ball and work it up the pitch and both teams challenging hard for every ball. 4-3-3 again to put the extra player in the midfield, playing downhill into the gusty wind to start with. Although Finch were getting the runs in behind their defence early, they weren’t able to test their keeper. Badshot got the first goal pulling it back from the goal line for the shot from the edge of the penalty spot.
This lifted Badshot and they put on the pressure, forcing some passing mistakes from Finch high up the pitch. Our lads were working very hard to press and win the ball off Badshot too, but were getting stretched out front to back, creating 1v1s in most positions. Badshot defended corners and free kicks, doing enough to stop Finch hitting the target. And their 5 man defensive line was proving hard to break through.
Badshot got their second goal, Dan pulling off the initial save from a shot outside the box and their striker being a little quicker to the loose ball in the penalty box. 2-0 half time.
The wind dropped off a little and Finch started the second half fired up with the wind at their backs but playing uphill, keeping the ball more confidently following the half time brief. Quicker passing and playing more compact to reduce the 1v1s across the pitch. Badshot were on the back foot and Jacob’s early shot beat the keeper but rebounded off the cross bar. Aaron stepped up to take a Finch free kick just inside the halfway line, and put the long ball over the stretching keeper and into the goal. 2-1 and back in the game.
Both teams continued with the physical style of football, Badshot holding the ball up well and getting numbers forward quickly. Finch working the ball forward, making the runs into space and winning the 1v1 battles most of the time with determination, strength and hard work. Jacob landed hard from a Finch corner, giving Alfie a chance to play up top. But we couldn’t quite link up all the way through to the strikers, especially when electing to play the ball off the floor, and Badshot were working hard to cut-out the Hurricane’s shooting options on each attack with their numbers getting in front of the ball quickly.
Dan made a couple of excellent saves from Badshots longer range shooting, and even was seen running with the ball up to the half way line. Badshot got the next goal from a snap turn and shoot through legs, bouncing in off the upright. As the game drew to a close, Finch were getting tired with limited subs and the intensity of the game, but kept pushing for the next goal right up until the final whistle. Final score 3-1 to the home team.
Our lads showed they can step up and play against the more physical sides, and have continued to work on their possession based play. Just couldn’t quite get the break to grab the equaliser when it was 2-1.