We had 16 fit players going into the game today with Alfie, Ben A and Nathan returning to action after resting up last week. Teddington has a single sub on their travels and were playing in their white away kit.
We set up the team in 4-4-2 to provide more coverage for the width of the Large Leas and more focus up front. And once the game settled down, our training on possession from the last few weeks was being used on the pitch. The lads made good use of the new FA law change about receiving the goal kick in the penalty box, creating space further up the pitch.
Teddington were a physical team with good possession skills of their own. Their defensive line was very strong too….making it hard for Finch to create the space and opening behind their lines. Both teams were challenging and pressing, the Hurricanes looking like the stronger team at times. But Teddington were getting close, especially on the back of a series of fouls given away. Jake was on his toes coming out for every long ball played through.
Unfortunately Nathan and Ben A had to come off early, one for a pull to his leg and the other for studs into the ankle.
The first goal came from Lewis C playing a perfectly weighted ball through to Jack, who drove into the box and fired home his shot. By now the game was becoming very stretched front-to-back, with Finch keeping the ball deep in their own half but the strikers staying up on the defenders.
Finch 1-0 up at half time. Interesting half time talk, with the lads all wanting to switch to 4-3-3 to strengthen the centre mid and give another attacking player up top, sacrificing some of the wide play. So we made the switch and assigned new roles. The main instructions were to keep the ball, release it quickly and to shorten the field. Its good to see the lads starting to take ownership for some of the decisions now….they have plenty of opinions, thats for sure!!
Finch came very close to doubling their lead in the first few minutes with a cross into the 6 yard box, the final touch taking the ball high over the cross bar. But it was quick feet and delicate control from Cameron that got the next goal, skipping past a number of the Teddington player challengers, a quick 1-2 with Lewis B on the edge of the box and left foot shot into the net.
Teddington conceded a penalty from Harrington’s shot onto an outspread arm. Aaron stepped up to take the penalty, but his penalty was saved by the keeper.
As the game went on, both teams were giving away free kicks in dangerous positions. But neither team could capitalise on their chances. Finch defending well and in numbers. Teddington went down to 10 men when one of their players received a 2nd yellow card for kicking out at Adam.
Finch kept the attacking pressure on and the clean sheet, final score 2-0.