It was a cold winter day, with low sun not breaking above the treeline, and leaving the right hand side of the pitch slightly frosty and slippery under foot. The visitors top of the league and unbeaten in their first 8 games, including a 4-0 win over the Hurricanes.
The home side were hungry for this one, they were disappointed with their performance in the first game, and there was an inner determination to put that result right. They certainly started the game the better, first to most balls, Wootton seemed to be taken a back by there early intensity. The first opportunity came with just a few minutes on the clock, Louie out muscled the center back, and tore towards goal, his shot looked to be going in the bottom corner, but the keeper got a faintest of touches with an outstretched toe, to deflect the ball on to the post, the rebound was hastily cleared. It had the result of sparking some life in to Wootton, they started to contest the game a little, and were causing some issues particularly down their right, where they were being given to much time and space. Kian was sent on to tighten that area of the pitch up, with Benji pushed forward. It soon paid dividends as the pair combined for Benji to skip in the the box past a challenge, to square the ball across goal, defender just got a toe on it to take it away from Louie, but it guided it in the the path of the on coming Ethan who calmly side footed home 1-0.
The goal served to help the home team grow in confidence, Louie was causing havoc upfront with visitors defence unable to handle him. He forced a corner from the right, it was swung in Jack E got a flick on it bounced and sat up perfectly for Ethan to lash home from 6 yards in to the roof of the net 2-0. Wootton to their credit didn’t collapse under the onslaught and tried to push forward, from their first corner of the game the pulled one back, swung over with pace and bundled home at the back post 2-1. It gave them a life line, and some belief and for the next 10 minutes or so they enjoyed their best spell of the game, they didn’t really threaten the goal too much, but were coming out on top in midfield, the home side not helping themselves giving the ball away and trying to force passes when they weren’t really on. Wootton did create a chance, but Hayden pulled off a great stop to keep the scores level. It was pivotal moment in the game. Hurricanes broke forward down the right, a forced a throw level with the edge of the box, Alex launched throw in to the box, Louie cushioned a header over his marker in to the space behind him, span in behind, and from a tight angle to right of the goal, smashed a shot across goal in to the bottom left hand corner, a great finish 3-1. It took the wind of Wootton’s sails as half time approached.
A positive half time team talk, in general we had been in control of the game, we just needed to have better ball retention, in spells of the game when we came under some pressure, and the next goal was very important.
We expected a reaction from Wootton, but it didn’t come, it was the Hurricanes who started the second half in the ascendancy. Benji enjoying playing further up the pitch, was a menace down the left and the early part of the second half saw him see a lot of the ball. He combined with Louie in side the box, went past one stranded defender and was upended by a second, the referee pointed to the spot. Having won the penalty Benji stepped up and drilled it to the keeper’s left and in the net, however the linesman waved his flag in the air, as he had spotted an encroachment in to the box, and the Referee ordered a re-take. A bit more pressure on this one, but Benji stepped up again and smashed in to almost the identical spot, 4-1. It killed of any Wooton resilience, they didn’t react well to the goal, with players asking to be substituted and a little bit of ill discipline setting in, the centre back lucky to not to be shown a card for an ugly tangle with Benji. Hurricanes were enjoying much more open space in midfield, Kian pushing forward, stretched, and poked a toe at a cross field ball from Benji and it shot off at angle straight in to the top right hand corner, a bit of good fortune, that his all round display deserved 5-1.
The center back who missed a booking earlier, then aimed a kick at Alex, this time he was booked and really was lucky to be on the pitch, the Referee showed him some leniency and he was immediately substituted. Wootton to their credit picked themselves up, and tried to reduce the scoreline, they were slightly unlucky when a shot was was deflected and looped up to strike the top of the bar. The resulting corner, was cleared to Ethan on the edge of the box, he raced clear, with Wootton over committing to the corner, he travelled half the length of the pitch and slid a ball in to Louie, who showed great strength to initially hold off the defender and then pace and power to race away to finish to the bottom left hand corner 6-1. Hurricanes were playing freedom and confidence, a long ball was held up by Louie, he fed back to Kian who advanced forward unchallenged, 25 yards out, he smashed a curling left foot shot in to the top left hand corner, the goal of the game and moment of individual brilliance to close the match 7-1.
Summary: It was probably our best performance of the season thus far, we were really good all over the pitch and for once took our chances well. Only thing really to improve on would be to keep the ball better when we come under some pressure in games. The second half was almost the complete performance, killed the game off early and then controlled the game, against the best team we have played in this division.
M.O.T.M: There were a lot of excellent performances today, all of the squad lifted their game and we have shown the level we can play. Benji, Ethan and Louie played well and all of the defenders involved showed great resolve to protect the goal, this weeks award goes to Kian, two stunning goals, kept the ball superbly and was a rock in midfield.
Scorers: Ethan (2), Louie (2), Kian (2), Benji (P)