It was an early afternoon kick off for the final match of the 2018/19 season, with Barracudas hoping to finish well, having been on an excellent run in the last few months.
Barracudas travelled to Heybridge for a lunchtime kick off, with the team looking to continue their recent good run of form.
Barracudas started strongly, pressurising the Heybridge back line straight from kick off. They had several chances in the first few minutes, but there were a few near misses and were also thwarted by some excellent goalkeeping. It took just six minutes however for Barracudas to break the deadlock - a fine through ball from Jack found Josh who struck it accurately, low and hard into the far bottom corner.
Four minutes later, some good work on the right hand side from Jesse gave Josh the opportunity to add another, neatly flicking the ball past the goalkeeper from close range.
A quick-fire hat-trick was completed two minutes later when a cross/shot from Tyler was followed in by Josh to tap the ball home.
On sixteen minutes, Barracudas scored again – it was good passing from Jesse to Josh and then on to Tyler who nutmegged the goalkeeper to open his account for the day.
Five minutes later, a fantastic first time pass from Zak allowed Tyler time and space to pick his spot to add to the tally.
On the stroke of half time, George then hit one of the best strikes of the season – from way outside the penalty area, he connected perfectly, with the ball looping over the keeper into the top of the net! There was generous applause even from the opposing management team for that one!
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first, with a relentless display of attacking football, with some excellent teamwork and passing. Four minutes into the half, Zak put in another nice pass to Tyler, who still had work to do, but created space for himself to complete his hat-trick.
Three minutes later, a through ball from George found Zak, who scored with a looping shot that gave the goalkeeper no chance.
After thirteen minutes of the second half, there was an amazing run of six goals in just seven minutes. Firstly, Jack hit a superb strike from distance which had too much power to give the goalkeeper any chance.
Jack then became provider, when he spotted Zak unmarked, played a perfectly weighted ball through – Zak making no mistake with an instinctive first time finish.
The next goal involved some excellent passing between Josh and Hugo, culminating in finding Jack, who made no mistake.
It was Jack’s turn to then complete a hat-trick, when a lovely cross from Josh was again clinically dispatched by the captain.
Another goal followed shortly after, when Hugo played a nice pass to Jesse, who scored when he made a great run and hit a trademark powerful finish.
Jesse then turned creator, with a pass through to Zak, who scored with his second looping shot of the game and became the fourth Barracuda on the day to score a hat-trick.
Fair play to Heybridge as they had a good spell after this, with a few chances to get on the scoresheet themselves but the defensive line of mainly Ollie C and Alfie (assisted by Jack and Jesse at certain times) stood firm with Charlie in goal once again proving Mr Reliable and dealing with everything that came his way.
There was still time for one more Barracudas goal, in the last minute of the match, with Josh dispossessing a Heybridge defender near the touchline, bringing the ball towards goal and tapping in past the goalkeeper.
This was an excellent display from Barracudas who looked a really good team, playing some excellent football with great passing and scoring some nice goals!
Well done too to Heybridge who were missing a few players and had the bare minimum seven, with no subs, but were very sporting opponents in difficult circumstances for them.
In a match where four players scored hattricks and the defence & goalkeeper kept a clean sheet, the Man of the Match trophy could have been awarded to any number of players. Josh received an honourable mention for a hard working performance, topped off by scoring the opening three and last goals for a four goal haul.
However, it was George who deservedly won the Man of the Match award for a great display in midfield, was influential in both helping the defence and supporting the attacks and scored the most spectacular goal of the game with a wonder strike from way out!