5As tough loss as they take on West Herts

Match Report 5A’s v’s West Herts 5

Result : Lost 1-5

Scorer: Fin Batchelor

After a good run of wins, a mostly unchanged squad were feeling confident going into a fixture with an opposition sitting at the top of the table. The scoreline didn’t do justice to what was a competitive match, with Southgate winning more penalty corners than the opposition and frequently into the West Herts D. The opposition were strong on the break and simply had more overall match experience against our more developmental team, but we played attractive hockey for most of the match, but just didn’t finish our plentiful chances. A couple of early defensive lapses left us 2-0 down in the first quarter, but we then held our shape and started to distribute the ball well, with Dan Bishop often in space on the right, linking well with Oz and Fin. Daniel S forced a very good keeper save with a flick from a PC, and Oz had a couple of cracking hits that went just wide of the post. Yuvraj and Rafi were putting good pressure on their defenders, who were well anchored with experienced players. Conceding a third goal before half-time was largely against the run of play, and we were determined rather than despondent in the half-time talk. Fergus again had an excellent game, linking well with Daniel, and the midfield overall is showing good balance from regular games together. In the second half, short and clever passes between the midfield released Fergus into a good run into the D, with his shot picked up by Fin to slot away a deserved goal. Pressing for more left us a little exposed at the back given the structure, and their marauding forwards picked up a couple more goals in the second half. We probably deserved to lose overall, and the 2-1 second-half scoreline would have been a fairer reflection of the whole game, with all of us making mistakes at times and lacking enough precision, but it was positive for the future to see the attractive passing game and growing confidence of the youngsters, who played with real heart.Joint MOM Fergus and Dan