Sunday 17th November, Finchampstead Hurricanes went up against Abbey Youth.....
As the game got started, with the same set of lads as last week, the Hurricanes were looking confident on the ball. But that didn’t last very long. Although Abbey weren’t consistently pressing too hard, it was enough to put the lads under pressure, win the ball back quickly and force the mistakes. They couldn’t get their passing game going or apply their own pressure to stop Abbey playing forward. And it wasn’t long before Abbey capitalised with 3 goals in the first 30 minutes.
But in spite of the scoreline, there were some quality moments to the Finch game, especially with shorter quick passing play to work the ball around Abbey. A penetrating cross field pass from Lewis C put Ben M on goal, there were a couple of longer range shots from the edge of the penalty box and Harrington couldn’t get over the top of a couple of well placed corners at the back post. Dan pulled off a number of good saves too including tipping the ball onto the cross bar from a free kick and facing down a 1-on-1. Abbey got the 4th goal as the first half came to a close. A half to put behind us and learn from!!
At half time the lads knew they were struggling as a collective, giving Abbey too much time, not getting to the ball quickly enough, lack of composure on the ball, holding on to the ball and not moving to create space. Basically everything we have seen them do well over the last few weeks.
The Hurricanes went out in the 2nd half with a renewed focus and determination. And they put the pressure onto Abbey from the kick off. And they created chances…Jack was put through on goal but couldn’t wrap his foot around the shot enough, Cam forced a double save in a goal mouth scramble after a corner, Adam and Jacob almost got the tap in but the keeper made the block and Ben M's back post shot was saved by the keeper. Finch also won a couple of free kicks around the penalty box, Lewis C forcing the save from his on-target effort.
With 15 minutes to go, there was an off-the-ball incident between 2 players in the Abbey penalty box and both teams went down to 10 men to finish the game off. Although a lot quieter at the Finch goal, Dan had to make a few more saves. But Abbey managed to squeeze the ball through the back line to beat the off-side trap and get the final goal of the game. 5-0 final score.