Battling at the top of the table

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2019

With Badshot, Burpham and Finch Hurricanes fighting it out at the top of the Premier table, sundays clash against leaders Badshot was going to be a tough fixture. Badshot looking to settle the score for their 3-0 defeat at Finch on the Large Leas pitch where Finch’s more technical football style had prevailed in the first leg. In the warm up we talked about the condition of the pitch and the challenges the lads might face.
 
In the early exchanges, Badshot were pressing hard and fast, using their size advantage well. Finch trying to get their passing game going but struggling with the surface and the lack of time on the ball. Unfortunately the end result was too many panicked kicks or misplaced passes, allowing Badshot to attack. Badshot scored first from a free kick (handball) near the corner flag just outside the penalty box, catching the Hurricanes flat footed and not challenging for the aerial ball. And a bobble on a back pass gave Badshot their second. Both teams were going for it now, getting stuck in and the game was continuing to be played at a fast and furious pace. Although Finch were able to break with the ball, Badshot were getting back in numbers to crowd out the attacks. Shots from Ben M and Lewis were swept up by their keeper. And the couple of longer range attempts from Badshot were dealt with by Jake.
 
The second half continued at the same fast pace, with Finch getting more physical in the challenges and Badshot having the 2 goal buffer to give them confidence. The ball was being released quicker which allowed Finch to play around Badshot more easily, still not at the normal quality Finch plays with. So all the hard work to get the ball back was being quickly undone. But when the Finch passing was finding its target, Finch were able to progress up the pitch quickly and effectively with some swift counter attacking moves. Badshot got their third goal from an unmarked player at the back post who received a looping ball from a deflected cross. Ollie couldn’t divert his header from a corner, Ben M shot from the edge of the box was just outside the top corner and Cam’s attempt inside the box was blocked by defenders. As the clock ran down and Finch legs were tiring, Badshot got the final goal of the game from a well-taken 1-on-1 with Jake.
 
Final score 4-0, and the first game of the season where the lads haven’t scored.
 
Credit to the lads for battling right through to the final whistle, giving as good as they got, working very hard in the game and trying to adapt their style for the pitch conditions. There were some tired legs at the end of the game, including a bit of calf-cramp. 
 
The result gives Badshot control of the top spot, in spite of the Finch game in hand. Finch stay 3rd place, 1 point behind 2nd place Burpham who didn’t play today. Bourne beat Abbey Diamonds 4-1 to close the gap on Finch in 4th place, and Virginia Waters v Haslemere ended in a goalless draw keeping both teams in the bottom half of the table. Finch Sharks lost 3-2 to Abbey Youth keeping them at the bottom of the table behind Abbey Diamonds.