It was blustery afternoon, with the pitch looking great with, having not been played on for 6 weeks, but infact was quite boggy in places.
The game kicked off with the wind blowing in to the home sides faces, Flitwick started well and were competitive all over the pitch, helped by the wind, some long balls were turning the home defence, with willing runners ready to pounce on any mistake. The home side were struggling, passes going astray, second best in the 50/50’s and a real lack of width, making the game more compact in the middle third of the pitch. Ten minutes in, Flitwick took the lead, a ball in the channel of the left hand side of the box, was picked up, the attacker was allowed to turn inside and cross in to the box, it caught the wind and curled over Hayden in to the far right corner, a tad fortunate, but at this point in the game Flitwick deserved to be in front 0-1.
The goal had the effect of rattling the home side, Benji and Louie combined around the edge of the oppostion’s penalty area, it opened up nicely for Benji to shoot, his side footed effort just curling a metre wide. The same two combined a few mintues later, this time Louie running the right channel, squared in to the box for Benji, he chose to shoot a tight angle at the near post, instead of squaring to Joe who stood in front of an empty net, his shot was easily saved by the ‘keeper. The next move saw the equaliser finally arrive, Louie burst down the right, leaving the defenders in his wake and squared to Alex to fire home 1-1. After a real sluggish start, the home side were now in full flow, they quickly edged in to the lead, with Louie again the provider for Joe to side foot in, 2-1. Hurricanes then put themselves in full control of the game. Benji, playing in Oscar on the left hand side of the penalty area with not much movement in to the box, he chose a speculative shot which nestled in to the top left hand corner 3-1.
With the game under control, the home side started to over play in areas of the pitch they shouldn’t, combined with a lack of desire to help defending, an opportunity presented itself to the away team which they gleefully accepted 3-2. The goal gave Flitwick a sniff of getting back in to the game, now playing with much more endeavour than the home side, they deservedly drew level, an innocuous free-kick 10 yards in the half, was hoisted in to the box, a run across a defender by his own team mate, confused a simple clearance, and the ball bounced and past the stranded Hayden in to the corner of the net 3-3. Shortly after the Referee blew the whistle for half time, and the home side trudged in to the changing rooms.
Not quite the hairdryer treatment at half time, but the team was left in no doubt, that the lack of effort and team work in the first half was not acceptable.
Sent out to put things right in the second half, the home side started well enough, however Flitwick had the wind in their sails and were probably slightly edging the opening exchanges, but neither team really caused any substantial threat to the oppositions goal. Gradually the home side started to take the upper hand, they were enjoying lots of possession, but Flitwick were proving a tough nut to crack, playing deep and compact, and now looking like they would happily accept a draw if offered to them. Louie went close with a shot just wide, a cross from the right was just missed by Joe’s outstretched boot. The home side were knocking on the door, but were certainly not knocking it down. Again a theme of over elaboration with the ball in unproductive areas, was the major factor behind not being able to create a clear goal scoring opportunity, any space left by the packed Flitwick defence, was quickly closed by recovering midfielders.
With ten minutes to go, a corner from the right was half cleared to Ethan on the edge of the box, with no room to turn, he passed sideways to Alex, who whacked it first time across the goalkeeper and in to the right corner of the goal 4-3. On the balance of play probably deserved, but slightly harsh on Flitwick who had dug deep in the second half and put up a real fight to stay in the game. Home team players were encouraged to up their effort level, to ensure that any sign of a Flitwick comeback was quickly quashed, and they responded, keeping the ball well, they got another corner on the left, the ball fell to Luca, who’s heavy touch ran in to Louie’s path and he looped a shot in the net 5-3. With just a few minutes left, the home side kept possession and control to kill the game off.
Scorers: Alex (2), Joe, Oscar, Louie
Summary: It was a disappointing performance, we said at the beginning of the season, our aim was to improve with every game, but this was a real regression, by far our worst display of the season. A lack of effort in the warm up, drifted in to the start of the game, after falling behind, we pulled ourselves back to a comfortable enough lead. Then a real lack of effort, and some players continually over playing, allowed the opposition to claw their way back in the game. Second half we were a little nervy, and found it difficult to get in to a rhythm of play. However we dug in and found a way to win, which was the only real positive we could take from the game.
Very few emerged with much credit today, and many had an off day, we can’t always play at our best, but it’s no excuse for not putting 100% effort in. It was a day when all the defenders had to work extra hard, having not been given much support from their team mates, the pick of the bunch was Aaron, who can never be accused of not putting the effort in, and today gave much more than several of his team mates put together.