by Sam Ainsworth

HHS Seniors 0 - 1 Cashmere High

Hillmorton Experience Unlucky 1-0 Defeat Against Cashmere High School

Starting Line Up: Wen, Tim, Jack, Andre, Yuma, Andrew, Cam, Azriel, Brad, Shoei, Patrick

Substitutes: Alex, Mnase, Jamie, Andrew, Connor

Man of The Match: Yuma Kaminagano

On the 29th of July, our first eleven football team experienced their second defeat of the Premier Division season, with a hard-fought 1-0 defeat against Cashmere High School on a cold night at CFC under the floodlights.

After a hard defeat to Papanui the previous week, in which we still played well against a top team in Christchurch, we were still optimistic. We had shown very good signs against Papanui, especially on defence, and despite knowing that Cashmere is an elite side in Canterbury, we came into the game focused on getting some points back home.

The team has been focused on playing out from the back, a tactic in which the team supports each other in passing play and we move the ball from defence into attack, instead of trying to play long balls or instantly clearing the ball. Right from the start, we tried to force ourselves to employ this tactic, and at times it paid off, finding space in the midfield, and with a few dangerous runs from Cameron Rean. However, Cashmere did a very good job of keeping possession, so a lot of the game was spent either pressing or creating defensive blocks to keep Cashmere out, which proved effective. In the first half Cashmere only managed around seven shots, and the large majority of their chances came from shots outside of the box, which is a credit to our defensive shape and setup, to not allow runs inside our box.

We entered half time, at a score of 0-0, and we were all sure that we could hold onto this result. We had to change a few players around though, with Jack being subbed off due to injury for Mnase, and Alex being subbed on for Andrew. We had to change our players around in terms of position for these changes, most notably putting Cameron into centre back to provide pace and composure next to Andre, putting Azriel next to Brad in holding midfield and putting Patrick into attacking midfield to accommodate Mnase in striker.

Cashmere held possession for large portions of the second half and began to have more chances within our box, but we still managed to defend valiantly, with our defensive shape and constant effort keeping them out. They had a huge chance shortly after the break, where one of their strikers found their way into the box and fired a shot at the left side of our goal, and thanks to brilliant reactions and a great dive, Wen Seng managed to keep us in the game by tipping the shot over the bar. We conceded the goal around the 55th minute when a Cashmere striker managed to fire a curling shot into the top left corner that no goalkeeper was ever going to save. In times like this, after conceding a goal it's important as to how the team reacts. The lads reacted the right way, we gritted our teeth and continued to run despite the tired legs and disappointment of conceding.

Overall, to be defeated after defending so well, and keeping our defensive shape so well throughout the entire game felt bad, but we have to give credit to Cashmere’s team. They’re a very good team, and they played well. We can hold our heads high, we never stopped running and always played with heart and confidence. To come up against two of the best sides in Christchurch consecutively at the start of the season is hard, but we have performed very well and represented our school well.

Written by Azriel Taylor, Year 13

Photos by Tyson Collins, Year 13