On possibly one of the smallest poorest pitches with long grass in some areas and none in others the 9 boys that were available today (again we were hit with sickness, injuries & non availability) were beaten by 5-3 by H&FR who were in my opinion flattered by the final score line as I think the boys did deserve something out of a hard fought match.
Northwood did not star that brightly with H&FR getting the best of the early exchanges, it was not until the 6th minute when the boys did get their first chance of the game. A well taken free kick from Frankie was flicked on by Ashley to Saihaan who unfortunately hit a first time shot high & wide. This seemed to lift the boys into action with Joshua going very close barely a minute later. The game was going from end to end with H&FR going close as well but being caught offside on a couple of occasions by a well organised Northwood back 3 of George Ben B & Lewis Ryan who were playing well together.
On the 18th minute a long clearance from Rayyan found Joshua on the halfway line who’s first touch to bring the ball under control was fantastic, he then went onto run through the whole of the H&FR defence which ended with him fire Northwood into the lead with a clinical finish. The game again was being well contested in the middle of the bobbly pitch when a ball fell to a H&FR player who ran forward fired in a shot that came of the underside of the bar and over the line 1-1. I will have to check the replay and again ask the league about when we will be getting technology to help with these decisions our linesman Rich, who was best placed gave the goal. Halftime 1-1.
The second half pretty much the same as the first with Northwood starting a bit slowly and H&FR were quick to pick up on this and scored their second of the game with only four minutes of the half gone. The goal did kick the boys into action with an immediate response from a fantastic strike from the middle of the pitch from our Player of the match Frankie who was having one of his best games since he joined 2-2. Again H&FR went close a couple of occasions hitting the post & Rayyan pulling of some good saves. At the other end the midfield 3 of Saihaan, Declan and Frankie were combining well with Joshua & Ashley who both had good chances on goal but were mainly being beaten by the long grass and bumps on the pitch. After some more pressure from the Woods came the hammer blow for the boys with H&FR scoring 2 goals in two minutes both from Northwood errors but the H&FR number 8 who in my opinion was there best player causing the defence the most problems he scored one and set up the other. Northwood did get a goal back through Declan in the 47th minute which put H&FR under a bit of pressure but when they scored their fifth in the 58th minute from a long ball over the top from an extended period of more Northwood pressure it really was game over for the boys. The H&FR celebration showed how much the win meant to them, but on another day with more players to select from the bench (we had none) I believe that we would have got something from this game.