Sunday 10th March saw Finchampstead Hurricanes take on Virginia Waters Maroons
With James and Jacob injured, Ben A ill, Marcus, Ollie and Callum unavailable, we had 12 players to take on 4th place Virginia Waters Maroons. The home team are above the Hurricanes on goal difference, same points and number of games played. The caged 3G astro was being battered by the wind when we arrived, strongly favouring one end.
Virginia Waters won the decision and chose to play with the wind to start with, the same decision Adam (our captain) would have picked as it happened. I think this did Finch a big favour in the end.
In the first few passes of the ball, Max was played through 1-on-1 on goal but couldn’t keep the shot down. 2 minutes later the Maroons right winger crossed into the box and their striker was able find the side net of the goal to take the lead. The wind was making it difficult for Finch, but their passing style of football was working well and Max was able to calmly capitalise on a scuffed clearance to level up the scores minutes later.
Jack and Max up top were working very hard to defend from the front. Cam, Adam, Lewis and Ben M were challenging for everything across midfield and keeping the ball well. Billy, Dan, Alfie, Nathan and Dale were excellent in defence, stopping Virginia Waters from creating their opportunities. Jake was quick off his lines to take the pressure off plus was able to clear the ball long into the wind every time.
Both teams were battling for the ball, pressing hard and trying to get the next goal. Virginia Waters looked threatening with a string of corners but couldn’t do anything with them. But in spite of the strong head wind, Finch were creating more chances at the other end, unfortunately also not able to make them count. 1-1 going into half time, but Finch could have easily been 4-1 up.
Now Finch were playing with the wind at their backs for the second half, and the Maroons were struggling to clear their lines. It took a few long passes for our lads to gauge the conditions, and then they were piling on the pressure with their more natural possession style on the astro. Finch had a string of good opportunities to take the lead….Adam couldn’t reach the ball in a goal mouth scramble, Max's header at the back post only just crept over the bar, Lewis on target thunderbolt shot was deflected out for another corner. Cam’s quick feet got him into shooting range but was blocked by a defender putting in a last ditched block. And Alfie’s long range rocket free kick was heading into the top right corner of the goal, saved by the stretching keeper.
As the clock ran down, the home team were getting back into the game as the Hurricanes tired and started to cramp up. But our lads held on and finished the game on the attack. Sadly the home team players showed the ugly side of football with their attitude and one of their players hit Alfie in the face after Alfie had won the ball off their striker. Our lads kept their composure and played with their good sporting attitude. And they definitely played the better football throughout the game, keeping possession and passing the ball confidently. We should all be proud of how they played and conducted themselves today, well done to the Hurricanes!!
Thank you to Dale for helping today and David for running the line. And for everyone who travelled to support the lads today.
In the league, 2 of the 4 games were postponed due to weather conditions. Abbey Diamonds continued their winning form by beating 6th place Burpham 3-2, which puts Finch and Virginia Waters 1 point above them. We stay in 5th place just behind Virginia Waters (still same points and games played). We now have 3 games on the bounce at Finchampstead against Haslemere, Abbey Youth and Bourne Blades over the next 3 weekends. And we close the season on the 28th April with the last game away to Haslemere.
Winter training continues at Frogmore until 28th March, then we move to Finch grounds for a couple of weeks in April and finally finish up training at Yateley common.