A perfectly respected minutes silence prior to kick off (apart from the dog pitch invading). After fighting it out for the title last season with today’s visitors Totternhoe Youth Whites, the home side were relishing this clash.
It was the visitors who started the game the brighter, an early defensive error allowed a Totternhoe striker a clear sight of goal, his effort thumped off the foot of the right post. The Bow Brickhill pitch was very heavy and a swirling wind added to the difficult conditions. Totternoe clearly didn’t fancy playing football on it, and reverted to punts over the top for their striker to run on to. Hurricanes defence had wide open holes, Totternhoe looking to take advantage. Hurricanes were trying to play on the floor, with some success coming down the left, where Totternhoe looked particularly fragile. Hayden kept the home side level, again a ball over the top catching the defence out, bearing in on goal, Hayden advanced to put pressure on, then dived down to his right to get a strong hand on the shot, Luca completing the clearance.
The home side took off an attacking player, and added an extra defender to try and plug the gaps at the back. It did the trick, Hurricanes immediately looking more comfortable. It was the home side who now were enjoying the majority of the possession. Joseph going close his shot, charged down by the ‘keeper hitting him in the chest and bouncing clear. Donny had one driving run at the Totternhoe defence, his shot deflected wide. Jake and Donny were now commanding the midfield, Benji and Alex giving width on the flanks. The half finished with the Home team looking the more threatening of the sides.
A confident half time team talk, we had a nervy opening ten minutes, but going to a back four had settled the defence, the game was there for us to win.
Second half got underway, Hurricanes carried on the way the had finished the first, completely on top an in control. Louie flashed an early effort just wide. Benji was terrorising the left flank, the away team reacting by clattering him at every opportunity, Jake making great forward runs on the inside. Totternhoe were being completely outplayed. Louie really unlucky to see an acrobatic effort go past the post. A mazy run from Benji and a pull back to Louie who side footed it high & wide with the goal at his mercy. Minutes later Benji did the same thing ballooning his effort over the bar. Louie then tested the ‘keeper from long range, pushing it on to the bar and then catching the rebound. Totternhoe hardly had an attack in this period. Hayden using his box well to sweep up any thing that got over the defence. A ball from the right was picked up by Benji, he fed it in to Donny who went past one defender in the box and the rifled it past the helpless ‘keeper 1-0.
Hurricanes now threatened to run riot, Totternhoe’s defence was at sixes and sevens, just couldn’t cope with the pace and movement, several efforts just missing the target, the Totternhoe ‘keeper pulling off two fines saves, it could easily have been four or five. Jordan was particularly unlucky to see his powerful header from a free kick, come back off the post. It was heart in the mouth time when Totternhoe created one opportunity, but from a tight angle they couldn’t control the half volley and flew high and wide. Louie was cynically brought down when clean through on goal, should have at least been a yellow card shown. With just a minute left, the Referee blew for a hotly debated hand ball, it offered the opportunity for Totternhoe to put one final ball in to the box. With the ‘keeper coming up, it seemed to take an age to take the free kick. When it was delivered it was floated in high and a Hurricanes defender rose highest to clear, last action of the game the Referee blew the final whistle.
P.O.T.M. Some fantastic performances today, a really difficult choice, but Hayden get’s the nod, really important save in the first half, and handling was excellent through out.