Hurricanes Brave the Cobras’ Nest

A cold morning did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Henley Hurricanes U10s as they returned for their first fixture after lockdown, an away league game against the Spencers Wood Cobras. It was the Cobras who had the better of the opening exchanges, forcing the Hurricanes on the defensive. However, the Hurricanes gradually shifted the momentum, unfurling their passing game. A smart ball from Jack Calloway found Oscar Robinson, whose shot was saved by the keeper. Captain Nicholas Hernandez St Clair moved the ball adeptly in midfield. By the end of the quarter, the Hurricanes had the wind behind them, and the Cobras were on the defensive. However, the Cobras were still able to show their venom, a stinging shot from the edge of the box bringing a fine save from goalkeeper Harrison Carpenter Buckett.

The second quarter began with the Hurricanes again looking to take charge. Will Goulden in defence was distributing the ball well, whilst Shiva Vadhoolan was working hard on the right wing. The Hurricanes did not have it all their own way, though, as the Cobras were able to move the ball quickly too. Gradually the Hurricanes built the pressure through a succession of corners, Shiva Vadhoolan and Jack Tookey putting the ball in, forcing some good saves from the Cobras’ keeper, whilst Jack Callaway hit the bar too. Finally, Oscar Robinson broke through with a typically persevering shot, taking the ball round several defenders and firing low past the keeper.

The third quarter started with the Cobras taking the initiative, an early shot on goal a sign that they were very much in the game. They pushed hard, and forced the Hurricanes to defend for long periods of time. The Hurricanes were still dangerous on the break, an accurate pass from Luca Currie down the right wing, a splendid cross from Jack Callaway allowed Shiva Vadhoolan, travelling at full speed and pursued by several defenders, to strike the ball into the bottom corner. The Cobras were still able to recoil and strike, winning the ball on the edge of the box and firing an unstoppable shot into the Hurricanes goal from close range.

The final quarter was fiercely contested between the teams. Both starting brightly, and looking for the upper hand. Oscar Robinson was again persevering, taking the ball past defenders. Shiva Vadhoolan fired in a pinpoint cross from the right wing, Oscar Robinson’s headed attempt only narrowly wide of the far post. The Hurricanes had a few shots in the closing minutes, from Will Goulden, Will Lindsay, Jack Tookey and a fine effort from Jake Thatcher, but the Cobras defended well to keep the danger at bay.