Sunday 24th November, was the 3rd round of the County Cup. The Hurricanes getting a bye in the first round due to odd numbers of entrants and a bye in the second round due to a team pulling out. Some of our lads have played some of that team before when they are part of Marlow United almost 10 years ago. That team is now coached by a professional football coaching company (called iPro) and they play in the higher level JPL league.
We were missing James, Nathan, Adam, Ben A and Dan, so had 1 sub. The lads were up for the challenge today and I gave them the choice of how they wanted to play, which they chose 3-5-2 with up&down wing backs.
The game was fast paced and full of strong challenges. Finch making things difficult for iPro and working hard. It took more than 20 minutes for iPro to score. But Finch responded straight away with Jacob volleying a Lewis C cross to equalise. And Harrington came very close with a bullet-headed effort off a Ben M curling free kick going to the back post. Unfortunately the pressure, pace and quality from iPro took its toll and they were able to find the net to finish the first half 5-1 up.
With only 1 sub, we took our time to get back on the pitch….jelly babies deployed. In spite of the score they were fired up and wanting to go again!!
The lads took on board the half time guidance and were straight at iPro from the kick off. The pressing was quick, the releasing the ball was quicker and the movement was increased. The pressure from Finch was quickly rewarded when Cam broke through with the ball and calmly slotted home. And Jack was played through on goal moments later, rolling the ball just wide of the far post. But iPro’s relentless pressure started to have an impact, Finch defending hard and trying to counter. iPro finished up winning 8-2.
The game was finished with 20 seconds to go when Alfie went up for a 50-50 header challenge and got flipped onto his back from a height. We didn’t take the risk of moving him based on the pain he was feeling in his lower back and called the ambulance, supported by a doctor and physio from the iPro parents. Thankfully all ok.
Very proud of the all the lads and how they worked together against a very strong u18 team from a higher level league structure. iPro had to work for their goals today and our lads gave as good as they got!! And also for them taking ownership for how they wanted to play against a strong team. And thank you to Nick for running the line today.