The AFC Henley Hurricanes U10s’ final game of a stop-start 2020 was an away league fixture against the Whitgrove and Warfield Wolves. The first ten minutes of the game were played in driving rain, which was unpopular with players, spectators and officials alike.
Once the rain abruptly stopped, blue skies appeared overhead and a bright, low December sun gave a little warmth.
Despite the heavy rain, the Hurricanes began the match positively, with Luca Currie, Nicolas Hernandez St Clair and captain Oscar Robinson passing the ball well. Will Lindsay was influential on the left wing, one strong throw-in finding Oscar Robinson in a good position.
The Wolves also looked to attack, but the Hurricanes were disciplined in getting back to defend.
As the weather brightened, both teams responded in kind. The pitch had become a little muddy in places from the rain, causing both teams problems with slipping and accurate passing. The Wolves’ forwards were showing their class with some pacy moves, whilst both Jake Thatcher and Jack Tookey were producing fine through balls for Oscar Robinson up front. The second quarter ended with a great shot from Jake Thatcher, which brought an equally good save from the Wolves’ keeper.
The third quarter opened with the Wolves’ forwards again putting the Hurricanes through their paces defensively. However, the Hurricanes held out, gradually finding their own attacking moves. Perseverance paid off, with shots from Luca Currie, Will Goulden and Jack Callaway being defended, but Nicolas Hernandez St Clair was in the right place and made no mistake. The Wolves continued to threaten, especially using their pace on the break, but Hurricanes’ goalkeeper Harrison Carpenter Buckett was in control between the posts, whilst Dominic Ellis was decisive in defence.
The final quarter was an increasingly muddy affair for all concerned. The Hurricanes started brightly, an early stinging shot from Oscar Robinson just wide. The Wolves also attacked, but new keeper Jake Thatcher was in control. Man-of-the-match Will Goulden took the ball from midfield past two defenders to shoot past the keeper.
The match was competitively played, with both teams showing their strength at different times. It is a compliment to the Wolves coaches and parents that the game was played at all, given the unexpectedly poor weather.