It was an early start and a trek to Teddington’s muddy pitches, the Finch lads were up for it today. Although I did start with a full car load of sleepy lads and smelly football boots. Good quality and focus in the warm up and pre-match drill, continuing with the combination passing and movement off the ball. In the briefing we talked through changing the approach on free kicks and corners, things for some of the individuals to think about/work on plus recapped my expectations for the 4-3-3 formation.
A challenging muddy pitch to play on. The game kicked off with Hurricanes playing with the wind, meaning Teddington’s clearances were sitting up in the air. Finch put the pressure on from the first whistle, pinning Teddington into their own half. Initially our lads couldn’t quite link up with the forward runners to create the opening, but eventually they worked it out to with Jack putting Jacob through 1-on-1 with the keeper for the opening goal.
A drilled corner from Joe put the ball at the feet of the on-running Lewis B for the flick over the keeper. Well done to the lads for listening!! And a great goal.
Teddington weren’t beaten though and were starting to grown into the game. Their persistence paid off when their striker was through on goal but clashed with Jake for the penalty. Calm finish sending Jake the wrong way got Teddington back into the game. 2-1
Across the team the lads were playing good football, looking to release the ball quickly and move to create the space. The defensive team of Adam, Aaron, Harrington, Dan and Billy were solid, disrupting and breaking up Teddington’s attacking moves. Good anticipation to get to the ball first plus they were also getting forwards, exploiting the width with every Finch attack.
Just before the half time whistle, Finch were keeping the ball alive around the crowded Teddington penalty box. Alfie's quick feet skipped around the static defenders and slotted the ball under the keeper. 3-1 half time
The wind dropped slightly but was still a factor as the 2nd half got underway. And Finch restarted with the same tempo and attack. Harrington’s long pass finding Jack and putting him through on goal, a delicate flick lobbing the keeper, Teddington’s defender not able to keep the ball out of the goal.
Ben M kept battling and was rewarded with a goal from a longer range shot which floated over the keeper and dropped under the cross bar. And Ben M was in action again picking out Jack at the back post, Jack still had a lot of work to do sprinting flat out to get the tap in goal!! I think I did get quite excited at that goal because we have talked about it but not been able to practice it at Frogmore.
To their credit Teddington kept playing and were getting closer to Jake’s goal. But they weren’t able to really test Jake with wide shots or shots straight at Jake. They did put Jake under some pressure on a back-pass, but Jake was able to win in the 50:50 challenge and clear the ball. Finch weren’t looking after the ball as well as they had done in the first half and were second to the ball more of the time, which was giving Teddington more time on the ball and opportunities to get forwards in numbers. But more solid defending from many of the lads prevented Teddington finding the net.
Joe drove forward with the ball as right wingback, his cross picked out Jacob’s head for the final goal of the game, beating the keeper and bouncing down over the line off the underside of the cross bar. Final score 7-1 to the Hurricanes, a well deserved reward for some excellent football. It is great to see everything we have worked on in training and talked about in the briefings get used across the pitch. Well done Hurricanes!!