Capt: B E
A sunny Hartletts Park was the setting for the final match of the calendar year as the Tigers hosted the Harriers of Churt. With 3 regular Tigers missing for the fixture, a last-minute stand-in from T B of the Panthers ensured there was substitute cover for the game - huge thanks to T B for helping out.
Looking to continue their rich vein of form from the last few weeks, the Tigers were hoping to make a quick start to the match. Unfortunately, it came as no surprise that the Tigers went a goal down with an unfortunate own goal (although in fairness this was perhaps slightly against the run of play) as they appeared to stand back and watch the Harriers impose their own mark on the match. There was very little talking and a lack of the passing football that has really made an impression within the team recently. Add to that missing composure with a number of rash and hurried swipes at the ball that continually led to loss of possession, and it was little wonder that Churt were 2 goals to the good by half time.
One thing that has never eluded the Tigers this season is the ability to never drop their heads - something that is quite impressive at this level. Despite being behind, it did not take much to kick start their quick pressing and passing game leaving Churt chasing shadows and surviving a decent number of chances. Within 5 minutes of the restart the scores were levelled. Unfortunately, the football was sporadic and the moments of high level football came in short spells as Hook often resorted to rather static defensive play with a number of positional indiscretions that poured pressure on themselves, and a rather lacklustre attack that appeared to lose the drive to want the ball.
On the positive side, the Tigers kept battling and managed to dig in to produce the moments that allowed them to take a deserved victory - a 4th consecutive win - and a grand way to go in to the mid-season Christmas break. The MoM was awarded to B E for another sound performance as he often covered the last man with a number of last-chance blocks and clearances, as well as always looking to lead the counter-attacks with some fine passes.
A well-earned 3-week match break should give the Tigers a little down-time, allowing them to recharge and emerge buoyant for the second half of the season.
Wishing all the Tigers and their families a very Merry Christmas and a great 2014!