(match report by Neil Prior)
Won: 6-0 (HT 3-0)
The final game in the quartet of games vs West Hampstead over the past two weekends was between the Southgate 4s and West Hampstead 3s. Again, likely opponents in the same division of the new league structure next season. The 4s have not played together for many months and the assembled team was not strictly a familiar 4s team although most team mates were at least on first name terms with each other!
Once again West Hampstead looked the better side in the pre-match warm-up but there is a theme developing here and that is that, once the whistle blows to start the game, the Southgate teams get down to business. Dominating the play in the first half goals came from Lik (short corner flick), Noah Lavy (neat chip over a players stick and firm push into the corner) and Alex Gibson (penalty flick gracefully finding the roof of the net). 3-Nil at half time with most of the play. Alex Jones in goal for Southgate only being troubled a couple of times and that is probably over-stating it.
The second half was more even for at least the first twenty minutes with much of the tussle being had in midfield. However, it was to be Southgate that broke the second half deadlock with a swift two touch move started by Ivan Stark (who had his best game in a long time), through to Vivek Dongha (playing another accomplished game in centre midfield) on to Jackson Trathen (returning to the Southgate senior ranks after his spell at St Albans) beating his man and swiftly laying it off to
Oscar Prior (making his debut for the 4s) who selflessly squared it to Lavy to slap into the open goal for his second of the match. At 4-Nil the 4s were assured a comfortable victory and two more well taken goals were to follow in the last ten minutes from Prior (a sharp deflection from a Kabir Bowry shot/pass) and a second for Lik (from a broken-down short corner). A mention of thanks to the injured Tom Murphy who took on the Caretaker Manager role and ran the bench with dedicated efficiency and ensured the substitutions were timed to perfection, well done for getting involved.
6-0 the result adding to the decisive wins by the 2s and 3s last week and the 5-5 draw (see separate report) for the 5s earlier in the day. The Southgate teams will look forward to playing West Hampstead come the new season in the new league structure, not least because they are a good bunch and like to stay behind afterwards to take advantage of our post-match refreshments!
Many thanks to Will Hargrove and David Lloyd-Williams for their expert control of the game via the medium of the whistle. DLW in particular was in no mood to tolerate (quite rightly) rash or clumsy tackles or any form of cynical play – rewarding such efforts with green cards (5 in total) and a yellow for the final of these that combined both “rash” and “cynical”. Thank you gentlemen – much appreciated!