The hardy Tankards Z team triumphed in a ding-dong match away to Bishops Stortford 5s.
With some games lost to lack of numbers and a few heavy defeats along the way, Zs’ 13-strong squad set off with strong resolve. Nevertheless they were largely playing catch-up with just occasional glimmers of attacking zeal on the counter thanks to James Findlay and Alastair Whatley.
At the other end Stortford were showing their own threat with thumping balls out from defence into the Southgate third of the pitch. In the 20th minute they managed to piece together a string of passes which resulted in a ball swept with gusto into the back of our goal and past the despairing feet of keeper Nigel Dixon who had so ably kept them at bay until then. 1-0 down.
Undeterred and under Nigel Knight’s sure-footed captaincy Zs found their groove and started passing the ball and taking the attack wider.
After a couple of such penetrations and a string of rebounds, a ball was deflected up high off the Stortford goalkeeper for Alastair Whatley to swipe with is stick like a swat to a fly. 1-1 and Southgate were back in the game.
“Great words of encouragement were uttered by our senior quorum in the half time huddle and we were soon joined by that rarest of sights, a lone Southgate supporter at an away game,” said player of the match Whatley. The experienced eye of Chris Gerrard took to the sidelines to urge on the Zs.
Within five minutes Tankards had won a short corner duly converted by Whatley. 2-1 to Southgate. Sadly captain Nigel was forced off the pitch early with an injury but the team continued to rally and before long James Findlay found himself in front of goal for a perfectly judged finish to put the score at 3-1.
Stortford were not finished and 12 minutes from the final whistle they finally got a consolation goal as Southgate legs started tiring. The game ended 3-2 to Southgate.