Hackney Wick 3: 0 Newbury Forest (HT 2-0) (Cup 2nd Round)
Starting 9; Max, Pavan (c), Arun, Majus, Leo, Jake, Cameron, Abdullah, Caleb
Subs all used; Lukas, Ismael, Saad, Stan, Casian
Player of the Match; Max
Hackney Wick play in the shadow of West Ham's London Stadium on a perfect 4G pitch. We started very well putting some good moves together but we conceded first on 11 minutes when we gave away possession on the edge of our area from which we saw an immediate cross to the middle where Max pulled off an incredible save onto the bar from a strong shot only to see the rebound pounced upon by Hackney to take the lead. We did not react after the ball hit the bar. The first half continued with our players showing full bravery and battling spirit going into challenge after challenge to try to get a foothold in the game. Max's distribution was first class as he picked out wide players with his drop kicks and sent our players chasing the ball towards goal on quick attacks . But the ball on a few occasions just got to the Hackney keeper first. We had a couple of free kicks that went close and a few corners but we could not get the crucial equaliser. Just before half time an unmarked Hackney player in our area received the ball from a throw in and set up another Wick player who from the edge of the box hit a great shot into the top right hand corner of the net giving Max absolutely no chance. The second half saw us continue to fight well. Lukas was getting more of the ball down the right and providing some good crosses. Stan was working hard and contributed to a great move which saw him shoot just wide from inside the area. Unlucky Stan but good work. The Hackney keeper was brought into action more times in the second half having to come out and clear the ball on several occasions.Once he made a save with his foot after Caleb sprinted into the area and he held on to strong free kicks from Arun and Jake. Saad and Majus were fighting hard in their full back roles as Hackney tried to get down the wings. Arun was as strong as a rock at centre back and many thought he deserved the "Player of the Match" award. As time was running out we had to commit more players forward and with 2 minutes remaining Hackney scored from a corner to kill off our chances and to knock us out of the cup.
Pavan got injured just before half time but hopefully will be fine. Lukas was carrying a leg injury that he picked up on Saturday.
As I have said before I think unbeaten Hackney Wick are the best team in our division but you can see we fully competed with them throughout the game again. Their manager said in the 2 games we have had with them we have proved their strongest opposition that have given them their hardest test. We will play them again this season and we will work hard to get the better of them when we do.
So again we showed strong spirit but were punished for some sloppy play. In possession we held on to the ball a bit too long but we were never outclassed. The boys tried their guts out and we will continue to work to keep in touch with the top of the league for the rest of the season.
There is no training at Mayfields this Wednesday due to an open evening but we may train at the club - I will see if it's available and let you know ASAP.
Onwards and Upwards