Reds Give Hurricanes the Blues

AFC Henley Hurricanes U11s played out a classical game of two halves against EPC Development Reds, the Reds having the upper hand in the first half but the Hurricanes coming back strongly after the interval.

The final game of 2021 for AFC Henley Hurricanes U11s was a home league fixture at Jubilee Park against EPC Development Reds. EPC are a Berkshire-based football academy and the Reds were a strong and well organised team.

On a cold winter morning, both teams seemed to need to warm up. The opening exchanges were quite frenetic with both teams having shots but not necessarily opportunities. For the Hurricanes, Will L and Will G worked the ball well down the left whilst in defence goalkeeper Harrison made a key stop, and Dominic blocked another shot.

After a few minutes, the pace settled down and the shape of the game began to crystallise. The Reds’ attack had good discipline and they saw much of the possession. The Hurricanes were mainly in defensive mode, with more saves by Harrison and more work for defenders Dominic and captain Jack T. The sustained pressure meant that the Reds eventually found a way through, a powerfully-taken strike from the edge of the box screaming into the back of the net.

The Hurricanes didn’t give up, and showed flashes of what they can do. Dominic, Jack C and Oscar had a promising attack on the right, and Will L linked with Oscar from the left. The first half finished with Jack C’s corner floating tantalisingly across the Reds’ goalmouth.

The second half found the Hurricanes in a determined mood, and they had the better of the game from the restart. The play was mainly in the Reds’ half, and the momentum had changed. Luca and Oscar worked the ball successfully up front. Just as in the first half, the sustained pressure led to a goal. Luca’s first shot hit the bar, but Oscar’s typical bravery and determination saw the rebound over the line.

The Hurricanes kept the pressure up and further chances followed, with Oscar playing a role in all of them. Nicolas came close with a headed attempt from a cross. Will L never gave up trying to win the ball on the left. However, the Reds were defending in numbers and it was hard to find a way through.

The Reds continued to look for opportunities to break, and when they did so they were quick and strong. Jack T, Kyuss and Dominic all made important tackles, whilst new goalkeeper Shiva – who had replaced man-of-the-match Harrison for the final period – showed total commitment in making more than one great save.