This game was meant to have been in February, but was a casualty of the snowy conditions. And with James recovering from a toe operation, Billy ill, Ollie & Max away, Callum recovering from an ear operation and Dale recovering from a broken collarbone, the Hurricanes were down to 12 players. Haslemere rocked up with 16 players for the last game of the season.
We set the Hurricanes up to go on the offensive from the start with 4-3-3. The Hurricanes started very quickly working the ball and focusing on possession as per the brief. This put Haslemere on the back foot initially, but they started to grow into the game. An early Haslemere shot was beaten out by Jake for the first of a string of corners. The Hurricanes competed with determination and defended each attack well. Then a hopeful high-ball was played in and it just crept in under the crossbar, too high for Adam to head away.
But the lads stepped up their pressure and started creating their own chances. Jack was put through on goal on his left side but shot wide. Ben M chased down a wide ball and zipped it across the box to Ben A to tap in at the back post but it also went wide. Finch won a few free kicks as well, all in good range to drop into the box but couldn’t direct the headed chances on target. Although the home team were keeping up their attacks, Finch were defending in numbers and blocking their passes….it was scrappy at times with the individual battles across the pitch, Finch getting pulled out of shape at times. Cam and Adam were battling it out in midfield, tracking runners and breaking up play. Interestingly Haslemere were getting frustrated including a yellow card for one of their players and a few referee talking to’s as well. 0-1 at half time, Finch unlucky not to be ahead at this stage.
Finch started the second half quickly as well in 4-4-2 with Jack and Jacob up top. And their persistence was soon rewarded with Jack being played through 1-on-1 with the keeper, defenders hot on his heels… he calmly slotted home to level the score 1-1. This lifted the lads further and the game was played more in the Haslemere half with even more opportunities to score. Jacob headed just over and then later headed onto the cross bar from set plays, Alfie just headed wide from a Ben M corner and then had a goal mouth scramble shot which was also wide. Both Adam and Dan separately made great runs to attack the back post but couldn’t get their shots away due to the home team’s defenders. And Jacob was put 1-on-1 with the keeper, who did very well closing Jacob down and smothering the shot. Alfie and Adam had free kicks but couldn’t keep them down, and Lewis had a wild outside-of-the-foot shot which vanished into the distance.
Haslemere never gave up though (and used their subs to keep their energy levels up). They did get a close range shot on target which Jake saved with this feet and they were repeatedly getting numbers up quickly to attack the Finch goal. But other than the shot Jake saved, they never really troubled Finch….due to the hard graft our lads were putting in, particularly defenders Dan, Ben A, Alfie, Marcus and Nathan. As the clock ran down Marcus had to come off with pain in his hip.
Final score for 2018-19 season was 1-1 against league winners and they could have won the game with the excellent scoring opportunities they created. They played as a team, covered for each other, pressed and hassled, and got forwards. Our lads put in a performance today and we are very proud of how they approached todays tough fixture…..and the whole season!! Well done all.
The only other game today was Abbey Diamonds vs Finch Sharks, ending 3-2 win to Diamonds. Todays result means we stay in 7th place, 1 point shy of 5th place and just 3 points off 4th place. As you can see from the final results only 8 points separate 1st to 7th places.