AFC Henley Hurricanes U10s were finally able to resume their league season with an away fixture against the Finchampstead Tornadoes. This was the Hurricanes’ debut in league B of the East Berkshire league competition following promotion in December.
The match began in cold, windy conditions, the Hurricanes having the wind behind them and also the benefit of the slight slope in the pitch. The opening quarter of the game was an end-to-end affair. The Tornadoes pushed the Hurricanes hard at times, forcing them to defend, whilst the Hurricanes had some good passing moves of their own, and were able to put together a string of corners although there was no way past the Tornadoes’ goalkeeper.
The second quarter continued to be evenly poised. Jack Callaway had an early opportunity, turning a defender to get his shot on goal. Shortly afterwards, a great ball from Shiva Vadhoolan found Oscar Robinson, who passed two defenders to bury the ball in the back of the net. They had an immediate chance to increase their advantage, Jack Callaway, Jake Thatcher and Oscar Robinson linking up well but man of the match Jack Callaway’s shot was narrowly over the bar. However, the Hurricanes did not have it all their own way. The Tornadoes were a constant threat on the break, and Will Goulden needed to be alert to cut out a scoring opportunity. The quarter ended with another Tornadoes attack forcing goalkeeper Harrison Carpenter Buckett into a smart save.
The halfway point meant that the Hurricanes changed ends to play uphill and into the wind, whilst the Tornadoes seemed to relish the extra pace of the downhill slope. An early shot from Will Goulden was easily saved by the Tornadoes’ keeper. However most of the work for the Hurricanes was defending, with Will Lindsay and captain Dominic Ellis both playing their part. However the Tornadoes continued to cause problems with a string of fast attacks. The final quarter continued in a similar vein to the previous one. The Hurricanes had opportunities to score, Will Lindsay getting an excellent cross in from the left wing. However, the Tornadoes dominated the last part of the game, using the slope to great advantage and troubling the Hurricanes with shots from distance and fast breaks. They closed the match by scoring from one of these fast breaks, working the ball down the pitch and through the Hurricanes’ defence, leaving the keeper with no chance of stopping the ball.