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for the clubs first pre-season friendly of the season I was charged with the responsibility of managing the team. It wouldn’t be the Sports team that I will take control of from Sunday August 2nd, but a mixture of old and new Hornets players. It would be a chance to see how the new players would blend together and see if they were made of the right stuff for the club. Below is my first match report.

HFC XI vs AFC West Mids

In the first pre-season friendly of the season, the Hornets put on a stellar performance considering this was the first time the team would be playing together. There were a lot of new faces including the introduction of goalkeeper Paddy who had never even met the squad before, yet judging by the performance on the pitch, you wouldn’t have believed that.

Right from the off the Hornets were putting pressure on their opponents and passing the ball around well, with good voice from the players on the pitch and Captain in the back four Steve. Movement with the ball down the sides of the pitch by wingers Jake and Chris provided some good opportunities for the Hornets but it was a long ball from the back by Matt Parker that saw the team get through clean on goal and Turbo tapped the ball away to put the team one up.

AFC West Midlands came back strong, always threatening but some solid defending and goalkeeping kept them at bay. The Hornets held onto their lead going into half time after giving a very positive performance. Changes were made at half time with Ash B moving up front, Ash D and Unders coming in on the wings with Neil in centre mid.

The changes didn’t seem to bother the team too much but it was clear AFC West Midlands had come out with one thing in mind, getting a goal. As much as the Hornets tried to keep the ball, the opponents seemed to have a man over and after a ball was lofted into the box, a save from Paddy was dropped and bounced awkwardly into the path of the AFC West Midlands striker. An unfortunate goal to concede but by no fault of the team.

More changes were made and the team mixed about and as the game drew on it was evident that the Hornets players were tiring. The voice was dropping and marking became slack with the tired legs which allowed West Midlands to catch the Hornets on the back foot and slot away a second. The match ended two one.

Despite the defeat there was a lot to take from this first game. The squad blended well together, there was great communication and organisation and really fatigue was the only setback. Great game from the lads who all showed promise in what should be an exciting season ahead.

SQUAD: GK: Paddy DF: Munch / Gandy / Steve / Parker MF: Jake / Ash B / Pete / Chris FW: Turbo / Fowler
SUBS: DF: Walksy / Emmett MF: Ash D / Unders / Neil B

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