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Finchampstead Hurricanes vs Burpham

 In spite of the rain, the pitch was firm and playable, and the game ended in a lovely autumn day!!

Unfortunately the shorter prep time before the game due to the weather meant the team tactics talk was cut short in preference of the physical warm up.

Our 15 lads took the game to Burpham from the kick off, putting the pressure on and maintaining possession high up the pitch. Burpham showed they had some blisteringly quick players and looked dangerous on the break.

Burpham pounced on a communication error to take the lead and forced a save from Jake. But Finch rallied quickly and Adam was able to drive with the ball from the Finch half to get the equaliser.

On balance, Finch were the stronger team but making it hard for themselves by holding on to the ball for too long or not finding their target on their passes or not being in the right place when defending.

Even though the game was drawn 1-1, our half time talk was quite robust about how I wanted the lads to play. The 4-3-3 formation demands different things from some of our players and it will take time to adjust and bed in. This season I am looking to play with more attacking strength with a 3 man striking team, whilst relying on a more compact 3 man midfield (compensating for the 1 player reduction). On paper not a massive shift from last seasons 4-4-2 but enough to force the change in how we play.

Second half was much more how I wanted the game to be played and the game was battled out by both teams to the final whistle. Finch created more clear-cut scoring opportunities with the additional attacking player in closer support, but couldn’t convert them. The midfield 3 held their shape which ensured they broke down Burpham’s play and that there was more cover for the back line. And the defensive unit worked hard to contain Burpham’s pacey attacking threat and maintain possession from deep. Burpham put a few high balls into the Finch box but Jake commanded his goal area well, and they couldn’t beat Jake in their only 1-on-1 in the game.

Ollie maybe should have had a penalty awarded for a foul in the box. Adam finally broke the deadlock from a Jacob chip into the penalty box, beating the keeper to the ball by millimetres and dinking it into the next. 2-1 and time to switch back to 4-4-2 to see the game out for the 3 points.

So the Hurricanes are off the mark and currently 2nd place, as no other games got played today.

Well done to the lads, fully deserved result.

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