Its official….pre-season is underway!! And what better way to start than a friendly with old rivals down at Abbey Rangers. Covid cut last season short so the Hurricanes never got a chance to play the Diamonds in the league.
The lads have grown up so much over the summer in their maturity, they were very focused in the warm up and briefing. They refreshed on the formation and some of the tactics, with the particular emphasis on pressing quickly and getting forward in numbers on the attack. Above all it was a training game at the start of pre-season so it was ok to make mistakes and to try things out.
Abbey were straight on the attack from the kick off and were pressing hard. They forced mistakes but FInch did well to recover from these.
The Hurricanes hit back and applied their own pressure to good effect. And the scoring opportunities were there but they couldn’t convert them. Jack burst down the right side of the box and cut the ball back to Jacob and Cam waiting for the final shot. Harrington's quick free kick picked out Jacob for a flick-on but was just over the cross bar. Joe couldn’t keep an in-range free kick down. Lewis C's corner found Alfie’s head but he couldn’t direct it below the cross bar. Luke turn-shoot and Jacob’s long range shot were both saved by their keeper.
At the other end, Aaron, Dan, Nathan, Harrington and Alfie were soaking up the Abbey attacks and defending with confidence, including a very well handled passing sequence out from the back through to Abbey’s penalty box. Abbey’s tall striker did manage to get a couple of shots off but couldn’t hit the target and diving Jake had the angles covered anyway. Our wingbacks in Aaron, Dan and Nathan were also starting to make the overlapping runs to provide width to our play. This will improve with practice.
Finch scored first when Luke’s left sided shot was parried across the goal into Lewis C’s path for the clinical finish. Lewis C was on target again to capitalise on a defensive mistake with a left footed shot passed the keeper.
In the second half, Abbey were back on the pressing but couldn’t make much progress against the lads. The Hurricanes continued to create scoring chances, but couldn’t find the target. Another Alfie header from a corner, Jacob hit the side netting and Luke was just over the cross bar with their shots. And there were a number of good attacking runs beating the offside trap but the final passes didn’t pick out the runner. Cam worked his magic surrounded by Abbey defenders on the edge of the box, picking out the top corner of the goal to go 3-0 up.
Although the game was getting a bit more heated between the teams as tiredness kicked in and the clock ran down, Abbey kept pushing and managed to nick a goal back from a well struck short. We picked up a couple of minor tweaks and some cramp, nothing serious. 3-1 final score.
Overall really encouraging start and great to see the lads back in action. The lads put the tactics into action with proactive attacking work, sold centre mid control and confident defending. Lots of creative thinking, team work and skills on the ball. And loads of hard work getting up and down the pitch. Well done to all.
Thank you to Nick for running the line and for all the support on the sidelines today. Also pleased to say that Luke has agreed to sign for the Hurricanes, taking them back up to 16 players in the team. Please join me in welcoming Luke and his family into the team.
The league is planned to start on Sunday 13th September.