By Nayan Bhundia (with valuable contributions from Fergus Comrie).
On the 15th May the men’s 5As / Tankards played Old Loughtonians Scarlets at their ground under windy conditions. During the first half we started on the defensive foot with plenty of solid defensive work put in by the whole team. In a half of few clear scoring opportunities, the solid defensive play restricted the opposition play to outside the plenty area. In a rare attacking moment, we did score from a short corner but sadly the goal was ruled out due to a foot infringement just before the scoring shot. From a rare incisive attacking play, we conceded a goal to a brilliant shot.
The start of the second half saw far more attacking play from Southgate with some clear opportunities just failing to create good scoring chances. A good passage of play down the right side almost led to a fine goal. The opposition then took back control towards the end of the game. Despite the best endeavours of the whole team, Southgate ended up on the short end of a 1-0 defeat. We enjoyed seeing a blinding first match by Rafi Cohen which will surely not be his last, and some very neat one twos from Brian Woolcott and Chris Gerrard who dominated the wings. Simon’s boundless energy kept the game fluid, feeding out to the team and keeping us all together, while Fergus Comrie, Nayan Bhundia and Rafi Rosenfield all maintained a solid attacking tempo while also remembering to get back and defend. Mark Thomsett kept the defence very well organised, which also included Kieran Slorach in his first game back after an injury a year ago, James Findlay dazzling the opposition with his 3D skills and Alex Holmes playing a very composed game out at Centre Back. Nigel Dixon almost kept a clean sheet and was a solidly reassuring presence in goal all game, and Chris James beguiling positional play kept the Old Loughts defenders on their toes and almost snared us a goal just as we approached the last 10 minutes of the match. Overall another excellent and positive team performance – Well played everyone. Man of the match was shared between Nayan Bhundia and Simon Holmes, with votes also for Alex Holmes, Kieran Slorach, James Findlay and Fergus Comrie.