The Hurricanes started the new season in spectacular fashion with a deserved 5-4 win over Stevenage Tigers in a pulsating game at Ickleford. Both teams played positive, attacking football and should take a great deal of credit from their performances.
Hitchin scored first, as Joel took a neat pass from Sam K and finished emphatically. Tigers looked threatening and although defenders Patrick and Kane kept them at bay in open play, hesitant defending at set pieces saw the visitors equalise and then take the lead in identical fashion from corners. Debutant Sam K levelled the match at 2-2 just before the break, with his shot from outside the box squirming under the Stevenage keeper.
The second half continued at a similar breakneck speed. Hitchin went 3-2 up after a fantastic team move. Joel took a pass from William and raced down the right-wing. He slipped a pass into Somerset. He was hemmed in by two defenders near the corner flag but produced a sublime cross which Sam Hart hammered home.
Stevenage levelled at 3-3 but Sam K scored his second to restore Hitchin’s lead with a superb individual goal, spinning away from his marker and finishing from a tight angle. William extended Hitchin’s lead with a great breakaway run and finish. The Tigers refused to be beaten and narrowed the gap to 5-4 with a minute to go but the Hurricanes hung on for a narrow, but ultimately deserved win.It was an extremely promising performance.
New boy Sam K made a very impressive debut alongside Sam Hart and Joel in a three-man attack brimming with pace, invention and goal threat. Somerset, William and debutant Morgan gave fantastic support in midfield and Patrick and Kane competed well against a menacing Stevenage attack. Sam Hen in goal made a string of exceptional point-blank saves and showed bravery in racing from his line to win the ball.
Result: Hitchin Hurricanes U9s 5 Stevenage Boro Tigers 4
Man of the match: a sparkling debut from Sam K
Squad: Sam Hen, Patrick, Kane, William, Morgan, Somerset, Joel, Sam Hart, Sam K