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Tough in the SPL cup game

It was always going to be a tough game, against Eversley who have played up in the Premier Elite for many seasons now. With Dan still out with a knee injury and Jake away, the Hurricanes had 14 lads for the game.

In the team briefing I explained how the SPL cup/trophy works and that the lads should view playing Eversley as an opportunity to pit themselves against a Premier Elite team and to enjoy their football playing as a team. A win would take them through to the Senior Cup and a loss would take them through to the Senior Trophy competition, so either way more football to be played.

Finch playing with the wind at their backs, the early exchanges were quite balanced, with both teams pressing and maintaining possession well, both teams defending and battling. James and Cam combined to put Max through on goal, but was brought down by their keeper. Ollie stepped up and calmly tucked it away to go 1-0 up. Max bashed his knee in the challenge and that was him out of the game (hopeful for a quick recovery). Finch were keeping the pressure on with some composed football. But then Ollie rolled his ankle which ballooned up straight away, taking him out of the game as well (A&E and the Xray say its very badly sprained, not broken). Thank you to Nick B for taking over from Graeme on the line.

The first half efforts were showing at half time with the lads looking tired and down to 1 sub, and with the wind in their faces for the second half. Eversley pilled on the pressure which Finch resisted initially with some hard graft, but couldn’t eventually prevent the lobbed shot into the top cover of the net. As the game progressed, the composure on the ball and speed of pressing dropped giving the home side more room to play. Even with a few tactical changes to increase energy levels in centre mid and Ben/Adam taking turns to drop in to support at times, didn’t make much impact. An uncleared ball led to their 2nd and a goal mouth scramble from a corner ended up in the net in spite of an initial goal line clearance. Finch rallied with a few counters of their own including a Finch free kick that was spilled by their keeper and the bouncing ball couldn’t be put into the net.

Alfie took a knock to the head and eventually had to come off (Sarah keeping a close eye on him), and Eversley pounced on a short pass near the edge of our box to hit the target just out of Ben’s diving reach.

4-1 final score so Finch go into the Senior Trophy quarter finals on 20th January 2019. 

Unfortunately losing Ollie and Max so early on in the game through injuries had a big impact on the game. Hopefully Max, Ollie and Alfie will make speedy recoveries. The lads worked really hard and played some good football, not much more they could really do but the end of the game. We still struggle with composure and decision making as the energy levels drop, especially in these higher level games. But this is all good experience for them and will help us in the Premier division. Thank you to Graeme and Nick for running the line today.

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