Let's be honest, BHFC's previous encounter with Latini back in December was one to forget... 3-0 down within the first 4 minutes and scrambling back to a humbling 6-1 defeat. Since then though, Hotspurs have found a rich vein of form in the League with 4 wins out of 5, and they were looking to carry the momentum into this weekend's show-down. Hotspurs started strongly - pressing well against a Latini side who cut them open far too easily last time. This paid off before the drinks break, with two set-piece goals in quick succession - Hine heading one in off a Lawro corner (although Aaron may have something to say about it!), and Roseburgh with a smart angled finish from Lionel's javelin-eqsue throw. The drinks seemed to come at just the wrong time for BHFC, however, as Latini regrouped immediately afterwards; Vandesan banging in two great strikes in quick succession - both from the edge of the box. Hotspurs were able to respond through the familiar source of Roseburgh (now into double-figures for the season, and Top 10 in the scoring charts), who turned in Macca's header to make it 3-2 to Hotspurs at the break. The second half was an even and slightly more disjointed affair. Both sides knew that the next goal would be crucial, and fortunately for Hotspurs it came via the ever-present Macca, who slotted the ball accurately into the net from the edge of the box - a well-deserved goal for the Hotspurs Man of the Match. Both sides made changes, and as Latini pressed to get back into the game it was Hotspurs right-back Keane who meandered his way cleverly up the pitch and rolled a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner beyond the outstretched keeper, to make it 5-2 at the final whistle. Thanks to Latini for a well-fought game. It was a pleasing victory for Hotspurs, whose recent form has seen them rise to 6th in the League, with two games in hand, giving them a realistic shot at a 4th place finish.
If you had to compare Latini to that of a premier league team in recent years you’d have to (painfully) undoubtedly say we’d be the Cosmo’s Arsenal. We’ve had back to back top three finishes and played some decent football but just came up short in the title race in the latter months…. Our comparison now goes further into this season where we have followed Arsenal into an early summer break and notched our 3rd loss in a row against Hotspurs. This was done in impressive style and mirrored that evening’s Arsenal game away at West Brom. Latini / Arsenal had identical defensive tactics at set pieces. In short about as useful as Ann Frank’s drum kit. West Brom scored 2 in the EPL fixture, whereas Latini conceded an impressive 4 goals from set pieces 1st Half Latini shipped 2 early goals from a corner and a free kick. Hotspurs bundling them both in. It was Hotspurs’ hard work off the ball earning both set piece situations in fairness. After the drinks break Latini decided to get going and Gan scored 2 peaches, the 2nd was particually impressive bending one in the top bin. Latini decided to give the lead back to Hotspurs by conceding again from a corner. HT 2-3 2nd Half Hotspurs scored again from a pumped long freekick which Latini failed to deal with on the 1st and 2nd ball again. With still 20 mins left there was plenty of time to get back into the game but truth be told Latini didn’t create much and it was Hotspurs that looked the more dangerous side…. And they duly added a 5th after a mazey run from their substitute and ‘pinpoint rolled’ finish.... A welcome break for Latini next week. Thanks for Hotspurs for the game and congrats on the deserved victory. MOM Latini – Gan, 2 top finishes in a game of little quality. MOM Hotspurs – Lionel –Nuisance all game, not just for the Rory Delap throws.