The latest league fixture for the AFC Henley Hurricanes U10s was an away game against the Spencers Wood Vipers. The game was played on yet another overcast May morning, although thankfully dry. The 3G artificial pitch played well, and the ball moved markedly faster and bounced higher than the damp surfaces of recent weeks.
The game started with an immediate opportunity for the Vipers, a shot on the right just wide. In the opening part of the game, the teams traded chances. A long ball fell to Jack Callaway, who was working well with Will Lindsay and Nicolas Hernandez St Clair. The Vipers were also able to move the ball quickly, making the Hurricanes defend. Nicolas Hernandez St Clair made a good clearance on the left, whilst Dominic Ellis, Jake Thatcher and Shiva Vadhoolan were also in the action.
The second quarter was dominated by the Vipers, who examined the Hurricanes’ defensive skills. The Vipers hit the bar early on with a shot from distance, goalkeeper Harrison Carpenter Buckett had it under control. Jack Tookey and Shiva Vadhoolan were working hard in defence. A chance to escape from the Vipers’ fangs saw Jack Callaway pass to Will Lindsay just outside the box, but the shot was blocked.
It was the Hurricanes’ turn to start brightly, the third quarter seeing a persevering run from Jake Thatcher, along with some crisp passing between Nicolas Hernandez St Clair and captain Luca Currie. The Hurricanes gradually began to construct passing moves, Will Lindsay, Shiva Vadhoolan and Luca Currie combining effectively. The Vipers were still able to strike. Nicolas Hernandez St Clair cleared the ball off the line from one shot, Harrison Carpenter Buckett in control of the follow up.
The final quarter saw the Hurricanes passing the ball well. An early move between Oscar Robinson and Nicolas Hernandez St Clair yielded an opportunity on goal. However, the Vipers still had venom, hitting the bar a second time with a fierce shot. Dominic Ellis, Shiva Vadhoolan and Nicolas Hernandez St Clair worked hard in defence against the pace and physical challenge of the Vipers. Will Lindsay and Oscar Robinson combined well to put the ball into the box where man-of-the-match Jack Tookey made no mistake from close range. The Hurricanes had a second opportunity almost immediately after the restart, but the Vipers made a great clearance at the end of the game. This was a very fast paced game played between two well-matched and competitive teams.