The Hurricanes were up for the game on Sunday, the Finch
derby upping the competitive tension in the team. Hurricanes were the
away team so played in the normal red/black kit.
From the kick-off the Hurricanes looked nervous on the ball, the Sharks working hard to press and smoother the play. The strong wind blowing with the Sharks was providing an advantage for them. Although the Hurricanes were quick to win the ball back each time, the pressure forced errors and they were quick to concede possession. As the game settled into its rhythm, the quality started to build and the Hurricanes looked more threatening.
Quick feet and half-volley shot from Nathan on the edge of the penalty box brought an equally good save from the Sharks’ keeper. And a quick passing counter-attack started by Ben A from a corner eventually gave Lewis the shot which was saved again. There were still a few hospital passes and a lot of our lads getting tackled with the ball trying to take on too many players. The Shark’s proved how good they are at tackling. A free kick was turned away by Jake’s feet at the last second to prevent the Shark’s from stealing the early lead. Max and Ollie were able to get on the end of corners but couldn’t head home the opening goal. Alfie, Jacob, Ben A and Marcus worked very hard to deal with the Sharks quick strikers. With less than 1 minute to go in the first half, Max poached the opener in a goal mouth scramble.
The half time talk focused on the quality and composure on the ball, movement off the ball to create time space (there was some but needed a lot more), plus the need to work together to create overloads rather than be split up and neutralised.
The second half kicked off with the Hurricanes looking more settled on the ball. Still not enough movement off the ball but better. The Sharks kept working hard to close the Hurricanes down, but the Hurricane’s strength and skill was making the difference. And with the wind assistance, the long balls were forcing the Sharks deep into their own half. Ben M’s back-post run couldn’t quite connect properly with Max’s cross into the box and more attacking corners and free kicks weren’t converted. The Shark’s keeper made a couple more key saves to keep them in the game. Jake also had to make saves from a couple of good Shark opportunities. The Sharks were sitting deep now making progress difficult, but Adam doubled the lead from another goal mouth scramble. Just when the clean sheet was in our grasp, the Sharks managed to sneak a goal directly from a corner with 1 minute to go.
Final score 2-1.
Credit the Sharks for persistent tackling and pressing for the 80 mins, although the Hurricanes did make it harder than it should have been. Not the best performance from the lads, but it was enough to get the win. In the league Badshot beat leaders Virginia Waters, Abbey Youth beat Haslemere and Bourne v Burpham resulted in a draw. So the Hurricanes go back to the top of the table on goal difference above Badshot (13 points each), and 3 points now separates the top 5 teams.