Hugin Vikings were looking for back to back wins this week as they welcomed Canterbury Eagles to Warten Road for what promised to be a good encounter. Hugin Vikings had a couple of players returning to the starting line up due to players out injured or away so a couple of changes had to be made.
The afternoon started with a 1 minute applause in Respect for 'Luke Williams - Respect the Person Respect the Game' initiative. As I posted previously Luke Williams loved his football and sadly lost his brave fight for life very recently. Well done to all the boys on both sides for partaking in such a moving tribute.
The FA are posting all the pictures up to the gallery located here :
Luke Williams “Respect the person respect the game”
Hugin Vikings started the quicker out of the blocks. Captain and eventual Man of the Match Charlie Steine playing in centre midfield for the injured Galin showed just what a versatile player he is. Within minutes he was breaking up the Eagles forward play, sitting defensively as asked and playing the ball forward and wide at every opportunity.
Hugin Vikings first goal came from Finley Cowell, Ryan James and Joey Huntlea both battling with the Eagles defence to try and get the ball in the net before Finley smashed the ball home for 1-0.
Hugin Vikings carried on pressing from the restart as the Eagles struggled to get to grips with the Vikings. Mateusz battled hard and played in a more attacking role as asked and latched onto a neat through ball which he half volleyed from a good 35 yards out, it went like an arrow, the keeper was beat but to everyones amazement it hit crossbar and went out of play for a goal kick.
The Vikings carried on pressing, our shape was good, Ryan and Cieran were working hard up front and between them won a corner. Ryan James stepped up and whipped in the corner which curled straight round and into the net! 2-0 the Vikings.
The Eagles then started to get into the game more, however like we have found in the past once you go behind it can be very difficult to get back into the game, however they almost did, if it wasn't for a magnificent save from Reece between the sticks to keep it at 2-0.
The Eagles sensed they were getting back into the game, however Charlie Steine did not let up, if he wasn't breaking up the play in the middle when we saw the turnover of possesion he was chasing everything down and helping the defence out as well. He cleared the ball which deflected and went out for a Vikings throw, now If I remember correctly Mason Brown threw the ball in behind the defence for Cieran to run onto and slot home for 3-0.
The Vikings were back on the front foot, Thomas Skinner enjoyed moving forward to help the attacks and help with corners, and what was great was the very quick short corner that was taken out to Tom, who took a touch, shaped his body and hit a lovely shot just over the bar.
The Eagles, did have a few attacks but these were mostly dealt with efficiently by the back four, Alfie Brown (Who was another contender for man of the match) had a cracking game, I don't think he let his man past him all afternoon and if he did, Charlie Howard was across to make the tackle to see out the danger whilst Alfie would get back to cover Charlies position. This happened alot today and it was great to see.
Mason Brown at left back also rediscovered his form from last season, heading everything clear, tracking back, also making a couple of runs down the left hand side and even getting in a cross or two Leighton Baines style. Really really good performance today Mason. He nearly got another assist I believe when passing to Finley Cowell who went through 1v1 with the keeper but sliced the ball wide.
As the half drew to a close Reece Igglesden whose distribution of the ball is just getting better and better kicked the ball out from his hands and to be fair, it goes like an exocet missile once it leaves his foot, straight over into the path of Cieran who smashed it into the keepers bottom right hand corner.
Half Time 4-0.
This half we had the wind against us, we needed to keep our shape, The Eagles must have been read the riot act at half time as they came out fighting and boy did they want to turn this around. We endured long periods of play with backs to the wall and trying to play on the counter. I asked Mateusz to sit back deeper, help in midfield, we needed to stem the Eagles attacking, this helped but still they came forward.
The Vikings were not having a lot of the ball, however the Eagles never really put us in too much danger. With the back four playing so solid, and the midfield working to help as well, we survived the onslaught.
Changes were made, Finley Cowell up front, Ryan James back into midfield. Marcus Debling down the right wing.
Jack Brown was also unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet after the ball was played into him and unlike him he hit the ball over the bar for a goal kick.
Hugin Vikings then caught the Eagles offside and Ryan took a quick free kick from deep in our own half out to Finley Cowell who watched the ball come over his left shoulder, saw the oncoming defender and flicked the ball over his head to the right, THEN flicked it AGAIN over the same defenders head to his left then had the audacity to hit a 25 yard Half/Volley into the net to make it 5-0. Up there for best goal of the season already ! A joy to watch.
The Eagles were running out of steam and all credit to them they battled well but just couldn't convert. Tom Skinner took a free kick from just inside the Eagles half which Cieran headed goalbound but the keeper saved however Mason King tapped home the rebound.
The Eagles never gave up and pulled one back, Vikings lost their shape and were caught on the break after losing concentration, however from the restart Finley Cowell completed his hat trick after an assist from Tom Skinner.
Well played to each and everyone of you today, Man of the Match was a very difficult decision as you will see from the ratings given. Finley Cowell showed what a very accomplished goalscorer he is today with a hat trick and maybe should have taken the MOTM. Alfie Brown showed great discipline and awareness of the game today, he tracked back everytime and came so very close to the MOTM also.
Charlie Steine just pipped it for MOTM with an outstanding display in CDM first half, same again in the second half and then moving into centre back for the final 15 minutes an awesome performance.
A great performance all round today, check the ratings out, no one scored under 9.5 today. Keep it up boys you were terrific.
Carol also wanted to pass on her Congratulations for the result today!