Match Report by Raj Saha


0-0 vs Hamstead & Westminster Thirsts

Player of the Match: Jon, Rich, Sohan & Fergus

A late venue switch meant the M5s arrived at the Mallinson Sports Centre for their away fixture against the league leaders. Sohan, making his debut provided some useful intel about the pitch, ahead of the 15:30 push back. Unfortunately he left us in the dark about one vital bit of information. Thankfully the opposition skipper enlightened us all (except Robbo).

As the pitch did not have floodlights we agreed to reschedule the league fixture and instead we played a shortened match as a friendly. DaveRichardson breathed a sigh of relief as he was saved from an early bath. Mitch on the other hand doesn’t do friendlies. An entertaining end-to-end game ensued that somehow managed to end 0-0 before bad light stopped play. What was as clear as day, is that table-toppers Ham & West, who have won all 5 of their matches this season, are beatable.

If the M5s can reproduce the quality and endeavour they showed on Saturday, we can match anyone in this league.
As there were no lights and no post-match teas, half-the side hiked (some were chauffeured) up Highgate Hill for a pleasant post-match refreshment in the Flask. Dave’s early bath had to wait a little longer…

Sam Levene: had plenty to do and made some good saves.

Jon Huddleston: the captain led by example and gave the side confidence to compete with the league leaders. Unfortunately wore one just before half-time which curtailed his match and left his team-mates’ eyes watering.

Matt Mitchell: distributed from the back with his usual aplomb despite an injury scare during the warm-up. Great to have him back.

Joe Soper: becoming an increasingly important influence on the side in various positions from defence and from attacking penalty corners.

Arun Solanki: was a real-live wire driving forward from left back. May be looking to convince the skipper to give him a start further up the pitch.

Fergus Comrie: Charged up and down (and back up) the flanks and helped fill in at full back.

Andy Robertson (Robbo): usual calming influence on the team and negated the attempted opposition’s overloads in central areas.

Jai Martins: serenely sailed through the game with his silky touches and through balls. Can be influential in ensuring we retain the ball and don’t get sucked into an end-to-end basketball match.

Kyle Shah: caused havoc for the opposition with his running in behind enemy lines and tested the keeper.

Sohan Dhana: fine debut and slotted into the team well with his usual fine positioning and link play. His pre-match pitch intelligence needs a bit of work though.

Dave Richardson: his experience and intelligence had an important influence on the team. Hopefully his fellow forwards will be influenced not to get in his way when he winds up for shots at goal in the future.

Rich Martins: target-man who led the line and gave the team a focal point at the top of the pitch.

Raj Saha: same old. Didn’t trouble the low-lying overhead cable with orange bib even whilst air-borne in the opposition D during the second half.

Mitch Read: MIA. DoD. Didn’t pick up any cards, which was an added bonus.

Southgate v Old Loughtonians – MHL Division 1 South at Southgate Hockey Centre, Trent Park, London, UK on 04 March 2023.Photo by Simon Parker/SP Action Images