George Green Reds play in the Thames Valley division 2, similar level to the Hurricanes SPL Premier division. So today was an unknown quantity for the County Cup fixture. With James injured, Cam and Ben A away, Dale was called into action to give us 3 subs.
They took the chance to run through the briefing in the changing room, including some multi-media videos on the movement and tactics with the help from an iPad (rather than the magnetic board). This seemed to go down well with the lads and much of it was put into practice in the game. 4-3-3 with an emphasis on supporting each other and trying to combine to overload the opposition.
Finch in the blue/white kit were a little slow off the mark at the start of the game, some players looking tired early on. George Green in red playing 4-4-2 were pressing hard and fast, quick to break in numbers. Finch’s defensive unit was solid, midfield working hard pressing and jockeying. George Green did get some optimistic shots off from range, nothing to trouble Jake.
As the Hurricanes grew into the game, they were winning the ball further up the pitch but continued to struggle to link up their passes and were not as sharp on their first touch as we have seen in the previous games. This kept George Green in the game. Finch’s chances couldn’t find the net….Max’s header from a Ben M cross was saved by their keeper and his bicycle kick shot was a bit wide of the target. Both teams were neutralising each others threat. 0-0 going into half time.
Finch started the second half with an improved first touch and passing quality. Dan went down hard in a tangle of legs and twisted his knee (fingers crossed for him making a speedy recovery). Finch seemed a bit shell-shocked for a few minutes after the restart and the reds capitalised in spite of Jake’s initial save and Alfie’s clearance of the line...no one picked up the run of the midfield player who eventually found the net.
Now the Blues were chasing the game. The best chance of the half was when Adam was put through their backline to create a 1-on-1 with the keeper, but his chance went wide of the target. However our forward 3 were linking together much better, but were held off by George Green’s defence, often with 8 players sitting deep. Max was put on to provide more support for the attack, going down to just 3 in the back line with 15 mins to go. But Finch couldn’t get the equaliser before the final whistle in spite of the pressure.
0-1 final score and we can now focus on the league and the league cup fixtures.