Sunday 26th January, Finchampstead Hurricanes take on Yateley in the SPL Senior Cup....
The Hurricanes got into the Senior Cup after beating Teddington 4-2 away in the first round. Yateley currently sit in 4th place in the Premier Elite, the division above the Hurricanes.
Billy, James and Marcus not available. Nathan making his return from injury and Joe playing his debut for Finchampstead.
A windy morning and a slippery pitch after the recent rains made for some difficult playing conditions. Yateley won the toss and chose to play with the wind in the first half. As predicted the game started fast and physical, both teams getting stuck in and battling for the ball. The first Finch corner lead to a goal mouth scramble and Joe’s shot was blocked by the sprawling keeper. Yateley were quick up the pitch with the ball and won a penalty for a trip in the box, but it was blasted high over the cross bar. Yateley’s pressure was stopping Finch from being able to play and forcing errors as well.
A long throw into the 6yd box wasn’t dealt with after the first bounce and Yateley headed in to take the lead. Yateley won a free kick just outside the penalty box and picked out the striker to bundle into the net at the back post and they got their 3rd from a ball drilled into the box to their running striker, who did well to get the ball out from behind him and score.
But Finch weren’t beaten, still fighting for the ball at every chance and trying to find the space to play in. Repeated through balls to Jack, Ben M and Lewis C were putting Yateley’s back line under pressure, but they were able to do just enough to disrupt the attack or win the ball back. Jack went flying over their on-charging keeper as he chased down the ball. Lewis C couldn’t keep a free kick from the edge of the penalty box down. 3-0
Second half was just as quick, the Finch wind advantage dropping slightly as the game restarted. The Hurricanes stepped up their game, making better quicker decisions, releasing the ball more confidently and taking more care with the ball as well. It was still a battle, but now Finch were the ones applying their own pressure on Yateley.
Cameron burst through into the box with the ball but couldn’t get over the top of the left footed shot. Adam made an attacking run with the ball and there were more through balls for the forwards to run on to. Lewis C was put in on goal but his shot was blocked by a sliding defender. Jake was called into action making 2 amazing saves...first a free kick right in the bottom corner and the other an over-arm diving save tipping the ball over the cross bar.
Final score 3-0, but a draw for the 2nd half. Which was no easy task for the lads!! Strong performances for many of the lads in difficult playing conditions. Thanks to Nick for running the line and Dave for collecting Joe on the way.
In other league news…leaders Staines drew 0-0 with Teddington to keep the top spot. Abbey Youth beat Claygate 5-3 to close the gap to 1 point behind Staines, Claygate remain in 5th on 13 points with the Hurricanes. And Badshot won 2-1 against Woking to extend the gap to 6 points over 4th place Hurricanes. Hurricanes remain in 4th place.