The Finchampstead Memorial Grounds and the Large Leas pitch in the warm spring afternoon is the best place to be….perfect playing conditions on Sunday 24th March. The Hurricanes took on Abbey Youth in their yellow away kit. With Ollie and James away plus Max injured, Finch were missing 2 of their normal strikers.
The Hurricanes were quick to start the game, pressing Abbey high up the pitch and forcing the errors. Abbey’s attacks were being fended off comfortably by Billy, Ben A, Alfie and Marcus in defence. A long free kick from Alfie aimed at the far post was perfectly struck, looping over the stranded keeper and just under the cross bar to take the lead.
Finch kept pressing, mixing up the play wide through Nathan and Ben M as well as through the centre mid combination of Cam and Jacob. Jack showed his lightening pace to beat the on-charging keeper to a long ball over the top for the tap in to the open goal. Cam’s shot from the edge of the area forced the save and Dan was a nose-length away from heading home another good Lewis corner. Abbeys frustration was boiling over at times, resulting in a yellow card and some warnings. 2-0 at half time.
The lads predicted Abbey would be fired up on the rest and they were right. Abbey were getting back into the game, putting their own pressure on. Jake was called into action to pluck a high ball out of the air under the pressure of their strikers challenge and pulled off a near post diving save minutes later. Jack was back in action from a long Jake kick down the centre which put him through on goal to extend the Finch lead to 3-0.
Adam dropped into centre mid with Cam allowing Jacob a turn up top as the game entered the final 20 minutes, who was just caught off side from a Lewis defence splitting pass. He was 1-on-1 with the keeper, who pulled off his own near-post save to deny Jacob. Ben M delivered another perfect corner for Alfie to head home the final goal of the game. Dale worked hard up front along side Jack and eventually Jacob, he couldn’t beat the keeper on his shot inside the box. Marcus pulled up with cramp as the game drew to a close. 4-0 final score.
Well done to the lads. They continued to work hard for each other and create good opportunities as we have seen from the previous few weeks, but they were able to convert them today!! The communication was more noticeable, particularly from some of the quieter players. Their combination play was excellent and the proactive runs for through balls were well timed. The only negative was the 2 Finch yellow cards for a shove and repeated infringements.
Thank you to Dale for playing today and Nick for running the line.
In the league today's win bumps the Hurricanes up from 6th to 4th place, just 1 point above Burpham (who lost today 1-0 to Badshot). Bourne beat Abbey Diamonds to stay 1 point behind leaders Badshot. The Sharks beat Haslemere 2-1, closing their gap on 8th place Abbey Diamonds and keeping Haslemere just 1 point above the Hurricanes in 3rd place. 5 points separate the top 4 teams, and only 3 points separate 3rd to 6th place. And this league shows how close the competition is with any team being able to beat any other team on their day.