Report by Will Hargrove
Saturday 28th – Southgate Water pitch
A warm Saturday at the ‘gate saw the 4As welcome one of their favourite rivals – Ricky 1s – for the 5th such clash of this odd season. The last time we met, two weeks previous, was the first time we had manage a draw after three narrow defeats. Many thanks to Mike Burman and Pin for a good umpiring job!
The game started with a lot of possession for Ricky but we pleasing kept our shape and fought hard to repel the onslaught. This was a fully loaded Ricky 1s and they were playing well. As the game went on things evened out. About 20 minutes in Ricky scored from a short corner via their captain and then shortly after we equalised in the same way through ours – Hargrove. As the half approached we were getting on top with a lot of dynamic movement and good controlled aggression. The pitch needed re-watering at the half and there was a fear that this had come at a good time for the opposition rather than us. The second half started as the first had with Ricky more on top but ‘gate looking dangerous on the break. Mid way through the half Ricky took the lead again with a ball in from their left and a good deflection goal. Nothing Dixon could have done. The game became a little frantic thereafter with both teams looking to hit on the counter. It was make or break time. With 9 minutes to go the ball came in from our right, Whatley control, spun and slapped the ball goalward, Hyer senior then touched the ball under the falling keeper for the equaliser. Both teams had half chances thereafter but the game ended 2-2 – hockey was the winner!
Dixon had a fine game in goal with good firm clearances. At the back Peters and Rushton (who had to come off in the second half due to blow to the foot) stood very strong in the centre, firm low tackles and good distribution making a big difference. On the rear flanks a combination of Costello, Ghosh and Ramsay all had good games, energy and composure in equal measure and good “fight”. Moving to midfield Garner G and Hyer junior both made it easy for Hargrove in the middle, again good energy and pace combined with first class attitude. Upfront we looked dangerous and managed a more coherent press than previously. Whatley was tireless in his application and tracked back well as well. Garner L caused trouble with intricate skills and good passing whilst Hyer Senior and Patel were direct and strong. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and well fought game as previously against these “splendid men of Ricky”!