It was a cold blustery afternoon for the visit of the early league leaders, Totternhoe Youth Whites who had started the season with 5 straight wins.
The home side were expecting a tough game, however they a bit of a made a hap hazard start, presenting the away side an early chance after giving the ball away in a dangerous position, fortunately they couldn’t take advantage of the early gift. The home side looked nervy in possession in the early exchanges, giving the ball away needlessly, creating pressure on themselves. The next meaningful action, came via a corner for the away side, the ball hitting Jack F on the shoulder and deflecting towards goal, just clipping the top of the bar.
Hurricanes hadn’t really been in the game in first ten minutes, however they should have gone ahead, a speedy counter attack down the right, saw Louie fire a shot just past the post. It gave the away side some confidence, they now started to control midfield, Louie had two more efforts one tipped wide by the keeper, the other only troubling the corner flag! This spell of the game was all the home side, again breaking down the right, Ethan fed Louie, who flicked a back heel pass in to the path of Benji, who engineered some space with quick feet and curled a shot, which the keeper got a hand too, put it was too powerful, and he could just push it in to the net 1-0. The home side after getting over there early nerves were now dominant, Benji in the thick of the action firing a shot straight at the keeper, Louie terrorising the away defence, should have doubled the lead but he just shot wide with the goal at his mercy. A free kick was awarded on the right, after Joe was upended, Alex floated the ball in to back post where Louie was on hand to volley home, a flag went up on the right, which was correctly over ruled by the Referee, who was stood right in line when the free kick was taken, the scorer was clearly onside 2-0. The decision angered the away team with some childish comments aimed at the referee from the sidelines, and protests on field. The home side kept their cool and continued to dominate, the away ‘keeper pulling a good save from Louie, who at this point in the game could easily had 4 or 5 goals to his name. At the other end the home defence dealt with any rare forays with ease, the tough game the home side were expecting wasn’t materialising.
Positive half time team talk, we needed to keep working hard and use our pace going forward, we felt we should have been at least double the two goals advantage we had, there were plenty of goals in the game for us, if we showed more composure in front of goal.
The start of the second half emulated the first, the away side obviously had a ticking off at half time and upped their work rate, still the home defence repelled the majority of the attacks, on a rare occasion they made a mistake, the opposition didn’t have enough quality to take advantage, however Hayden was called in to action diving to save one low to the corner. Gradually the home team found a way back in to the game and started to get more possession, a super move involving Alex, Luca and Benji, saw the latter play a cross field ball to Joe who had found space at the back post, a positive first touch drew the goalkeeper and he cleverly chipped over him 3-0. Louie should then have put the game out of sight but shot in to the side netting having taken on the home defence and created the opportunity himself. The away side struggling to get in to the game, changed formation to 3 at the back threw another body forward. Reverting to long balls at the home defence and hoping to pick up the scraps, eventually the got a reward, a scramble in the box broke free and was tapped home 3-1. Hayden again pulled off a super save tipping a shot on to the post. Any sign of a come back was quickly snuffed out, Louie received from Benji, two defenders closed him, he went one way and the back the other, and curled a shot around the keeper in the bottom corner 4-1. The away side continued to hit long balls in to the box, a couple of half chances as a result, with one being just scooped over the bar. However the home side looked the more likely to score, and had a couple of gears in reserve if required, playing on the counter with better quality, Joe fired in the side netting with the goal at his mercy. A rare mistake at the back cost the home side, as a scuffed clearance presented an opportunity which was despatched 4-2. 10 minutes remained an the home side needed to settle, they did getting control back in midfield, Louie fed by Benji broke free of the defence and he tried to lob the keeper but didn’t get enough on it, and the keeper caught it, a simple side foot finish would have been suffice. Oscar was presented the next opportunity, Louie unselfishly played the ball square, with the left hand side if the goal open and gaping he fired it wide of the right hand post. The game ended, and again there were some mindless and needless comments aimed at the Referee by the opposition, who had officiated the game very well.
Summary: After a nervy start, we settled in to the game well, playing some great football that was clearly too much for the opposition, with more composure in front of goal we should have been out of sight by half time. Again second half we started slowly, allowed the opposition some belief, but closed the game of well when we needed to, the scoreline flattered the opposition, as we should really have scored double the goals we did, need to improve this area of our game as it has been a constant, so far this season.
M.O.T.M: Some excellent performances today, Louie was a real threat up front, Jack & Keiron were commanding at the back, Alex and Luca combative and creative in midfield, this weeks award goes to Benji, settled the nerves with the first goal, and then added two assists.