WINDSOR YOUTH HAWKS COMETS v FINCHAMPSTEAD ROVERS
Saturday 12th January
An interesting drive in for the Finchampstead Rovers Team and Supporters, who need to meander through the narrow streets of Eton, trying to avoid the throng of young Etonians students as they spill out onto the streets on their way to classes, wearing the traditional white bow ties and tails.
An early 9am kick off but, unlike last season, it is a balmy 9 degrees as we arrive at the Windsor Youth Hawks Comets ground. As the supporters mingle and munch their sausage rolls and the players warm up, it is hard not to notice that the pitch looks like the NFL have been playing here over the last couple of days. Hopefully this will not impact the passing style of play we’re grown accustomed to.
With pre-match handshakes complete, the game gets underway. It’s a slow first 5 minutes for both teams, but Windsor get the first break with a tidy through ball helped by some confusion in the Finchampstead defence and Windsor slide it passed the Finch Keeper into the net, 1-0 to Windsor.
The game restarts and Finchampstead seemed to have woken up as they break forward, Sam passes from midfield to Harrison who swiftly lays off to Nathaniel breaking down left wing, he moves swiftly into the penalty area before he’s tackle (muted calls for a penalty) and the ball’s picked up by Lucas Coe who shoots just passed the left post.
Windsor look like they know how to avoid the poor surface as they continue to play the long ball and cross field balls very well. Finchampstead are diligent with their high line and catch Windsor offside on several occasions in quick succession.
Finchampstead continue to play out through the midfield, we are 12 minutes in and Lucas C links up with Sam F who passes to Nathaniel who battles passed 2 defenders and slots it deftly passed the Windsor keeper. Goal. Finchampstead are back level.
Over the next 20 minutes of the first half, Finchampstead continue to play great attacking football, with Sam F, Lucas C, George, Alfie, Nathaniel and Harrison. One break into the box by Nathaniel was tipped passed the post. Shot from distance by George is safely caught by the keeper and a shot by Alfie again glides just passed the post.
Windsor beat the offside trap on a couple of occasions forcing Finchampstead to concede corners and that were well defended, by Jake M, Sam T, Lucas S and James. One final long ball of the half beats the offside trap and they are through on goal only to be denied by the spectacular and brave goal keeping of Luke and strong defending by Jake.. unbelievable.
Whistle goes.. Half Time!
Finchampstead start the second half as they finished the first, with some good interplay up the left wing between Jake, George and Ajay, then on the right wing between Kamran and Harrison who breaks into the box, shoots and scores. Taking a slight deflection before hitting the back of the net. 2-1 to Finchampstead after 5 minutes of the second half.
Finchampstead are dominating in the midfield using the width of the pitch and defending well when required. Kamran on a couple of occasions dribbles passed 2 or 3 Windsor players rather than playing the simple 1-2 passing, receiving cheers of “maverick” from one home spectator who’ll remain nameless. Another great move down the right, picked up by Lucas C who shoots and scores. What a great start to the second half for Finchampstead now 3-1 up.
Over the middle part of the second half Windsor have several breaks with their tried and tested through ball which thankfully lead only to more offsides or some sterling defence by Jake, James, Sam or Lucas S
The next clear cut chance comes to Finchampstead around the hour mark. Kamran is fouled just inside Windsor’s half, from the free kick that he delivers into the Windsor area, it is struck sweetly on the volley by Ajay and somehow it is miraculously saved by the Windsor goal keeper… top drawer save for sure keeps Finches lead to only 2 goals.
Into the last 5 minutes and Windsor once again beat the offside trap, their striker is super fast and just cannot be caught this time. He keeps his composure and he slots it into the far corner. Goal! 3-2! This will make the last few minutes a little nervy for the Finchampstead players and supporters alike… can the Rovers keep their composure.
What a last five minutes! Frantic and scrappy with about 5 or 6 opportunities, a couple of corners and a few shots for Finchampstead, with a couple of breaks by Windsor thankfully leading to nothing. Unbelievable effort by all the team.
The Whistle goes for full time and it is the 2nd victory for The Rovers in 2019, taking them to 5thin the table only 2 points behind next weeks opponents.
Come on you Rovers, let’s make it 3 in a row!