It was a grey December afternoon in Bedford, on a pitch that had been played on 3 times over the weekend prior to this game, and was looking a little worse for wear.
It was a lively start to the game with both sides showing attacking intent. Bedford with plenty of pace upfront, were the first to create a chance, playing a little high the Hurricanes defence was caught sleeping as the home sides pacy forward raced through, under a bit of pressure from a recovering Kieron he skewed his shot wide. Hurricanes were enjoying most of their success down the right, Joe exploiting the space in behind the left back, a couple of through balls were just slightly over hit with the home keeper just getting to the ball ahead of the onrushing Louie. A quick exchange between Alex & Joe, with the latter putting a perfectly weighted 30 yard pass, for Louie to race on to, one touch out of his feet and the second rifled low past the ‘keeper 0-1.
It settled the away side and they were now enjoying some more controlled possession, again Joe was finding space down the right, he pulled back to Luca, crowded in the box he moved it on to Benji, who’s quick feet bamboozled one defender, a second got a foot to the ball, it broke and Benji reacted quickest to fire in a low shot, with the keeper wrong footed it just evaded his dive 0-2. Bedford were still well in the game, a fantastic run through midfield, drove towards the visitors box and through the rearguard, Luca back covering as always came across and blocked the shot with a perfectly timed challenge. At the the other end Louie fired wide after a fantastic through ball by Benji. Joe did well to hold the ball up in the corner, he played it back to Alex who fired a cross (yes it was a cross), slightly over hit, it caught the keeper off guard and he could only get a finger tip on it as it sailed in to the net 0-3.
Bedford had been competitive in the game up to this point, but this bit of fortune, seemed to tell them today wasn’t going to be their day, Joe had a great chance to add a fourth just before half time but he shot over the bar when found unmarked in the centre of the box.
A positive half time team talk, we just needed to be a little more wary about the oppositions attacking pace, defend a little deeper to not allow the space in behind. Equally important to start the half well, to kill off any way back in to the game for the home side.
Hurricanes started the second half as they finished the first, a tiring Bedford were giving lots of space away in midfield, which the away side were more than happy to take advantage of. Benji full of confidence, was causing mayhem for the home defence, a superb throughball to Louie, who’s shot from a tight angle was well saved by the home ‘keeper. Keiron showed great composure under pressure to chase down a long ball turn and calmly play a one two out of defence and then stroll forward to pass in to midfield. Benji in the thick of the action in the second half threaded a ball through to Louie, who drove clear of the home defence, with the home ‘keeper rushing out he fired a shot which bounced of the keepers legs, ricoched back and struck the striker on the knees and in to the net 0-4.
It was all the away side, most of the best attacking play coming down the left, again Louie broke the home rearguard, as he attempted to turn back inside, his legs were whipped away by a tackle from behind and the Referee blew for the penalty. Louie dusted himself off, stepped up to take the penalty, scuffed his kick, but with the ‘keeper committed to the dive, the ball rolled straight down the centre and in, again a touch of fortune, 0-5.
To their credit Bedford kept going and were hungry for a goal, Kieron outstanding particularly in the second half, marshalled the defence superbly in the absence of two of the teams regular defenders. The away side kept the best until last, Ethan sent in a throw, Louie controlled it on his left knee and smashed a volley from 15 yards off the underside of the bar and in to the net 0-6.
Scorers: Louie (4, 1 Pen), Benji, Alex
Summary: It was quite a tough test for the first 15 minutes, Bedford to their credit tried to play some neat football and take advantage of their pace upfront. It took a little while for us to work out the best way of dealing with them. Our attacking play got us in front and in the second half we controlled the game and nullified the attacking threat of the opposition.
M.O.T.M: Some good performances today, Benji and Louie were an attacking threat, Kieron gave a heroic display at the back, ill overnight and suffering in the warm up, we thought we may only get a few minutes from him, but he soldiered on and gave his best performance in claret & blue, it was a display that took some beating, however he was just pipped by Luca, who was simply outstanding, clever with the ball and industrious without it.