AC Finchley West 3-4 Northwood
Player of the Match Lewis Ryan
A good victory on the road to a good AC Finchley side who started the day above Northwood in the league.
The game started with some good passing and shots from both sides going close. We soon identified that AC's smallest player (No2) was easily one of their most skilful and quick so it was going to be a tough morning for our right sided players.
The opening goal of the game came on 7 minutes when our player of the match Lewis Ryan put in a great pass of about 25 yards that fell straight into the path of Frankie who fired in a rocket to make it 1-0.
We did then have further good attacks but getting caught off side and the finishing not being up to the usual standard saw AC keep it to one. From another Northwood attack, AC broke well down their right with a well struck low cross which unfortunately went in past Rayyan off George 1-1. The first half then did ebb and flow from end to end but Northwood did enjoy good periods of possession but this was mostly in our own half. The boys came in at half time with the game at 1-1.
At half time we asked the boys to identify where AC's strengths were and how to counteract them, they did identify the No.2 and the No 9 as the best players so we decided that it would be a good idea to not to commit to tackles and to try and double up on them when they ran. Next we asked how we could win the game and the boys identified that we had pace but AC had 2 tall defenders so we would try and play around them quickly. The plan was set the second half started.
Again the second half started quite evenly with both teams playing some good football. Sixteen minutes into the game Lewis Ryan found Joshua from a quickly taken long throw Joshua beat his man and fired in his first of the morning, a great long range shot. Barely 3 minutes later Northwood got their third when Ben Bambrough who also was having a good game broke the play up in the middle of the pitch and found Frankie with an excellent pass, Frankie ran on and finished well to make it 3-1 to the Woods. Then again 3 minutes later Joshua caught one of the AC defenders with the ball on the half way line beat another and then fired in a great finish to make it 4-1, 3 goals in the matter of 5 minutes.
This however did not have the desired effect as the boys went to sleep and let AC back into the game straight away to make it 4-2 from a well taken goal, but the tackling was nearly non existent. The boys then again did not close the now rejuvenated AC players as they believed that they could get back into this game. Another attack came down the right side and the AC player collided with one of our defenders and the referee did not have much option but to give AC the penalty. This was well taken and AC were back in the game 3-4. So in 8 minutes we had seen 5 goals and with 5 minutes to go it was going to be another nervy end to the game. The boys did get forward on a few occasions and with a little bit of a better finish could have put the game out of reach. But after what seemed a very long last 5 minutes the referee, who I did think had a good game, blew for full time.
Well done boys a great victory against a good footballing side, who we play again in 2 weeks time after our Easter Break