Autumn is here and Haslemere’s wind swept pitch made sure we
knew about it. Bitterly cold and muddy. And once again Remembrance
Sunday gives us a chance to reflect on those who have given their lives
Last week at training the Hurricanes worked on pressing and marking to win the ball back quickly and maintain possession. And the Lads started well, holding their shape and pressing as a team as we trained. Kicking up hill and into the wind first half made it tough for the lads, but they did an amazing job of dealing with the Haslemere pressure and the pitch conditions.
Haslemere used the wind well to look for the long ball with their quick strikers. Finch worked the ball up the pitch well although were caught off side a few times. Both teams had clear chances to get ahead. Haslemere hitting the cross bar a few times, missing the target and forcing the block/save (including finger tip saves and a clearance off the line). But Finch had just as many clear chances to go ahead, just were not able to hit the target.
A goal mouth scramble got the visitors ahead 1-0 from a corner which wasn’t cleared by Haslemere.
Second half started with the Hurricanes keeping the pressure up and winning the ball back from Haslemere by pressing and marking, maintaining possession well and keeping the ball up the pitch. A chipped long range shot from outside the box doubled the lead and a headed in cross got the score to 3-0. Finch had additional chances which were denied by some excellent keeping including a headed change save off the line and long shot into the top corner. In spite of the pitch, their possession football worked well with good combination passing.
Haslemere stepped up the pressure in the final quarter of the game and coupled with Finch starting to give them more time and space saw Haslemere get a goal back. Although Finch were still able to win the ball, they were starting to lose possession quickly under the pressure, giving the home team just the space they needed to pick out the long threaded passes to create the 1-on-1s with the Finch keeper. Even at 3-3 Finch were still looking to attack positively but were caught on the counter after losing the ball higher up the pitch, giving Haslemere the lead with less than a minute to go.
4-3 final score to Haslemere.
The chances they created and the way they played as a team today shows they have stepped up their football, especially when you consider Haslemere have been playing at this higher level for a whole season longer than our lads. The work on pressing and marking makes a big difference and we will continue working on this in training ahead of the cup game. Although its really tough on the lads, they played great positive football today and we are all very proud of the Hurricanes.
Well done lads.