Southgate M2’s dug out a hotly contested match converting their 6th win of the season against a strong East London side.
The team welcomed Ollie Wickens between the sticks and saw the welcome return for the industrious Lewis Hollett in the midfield.
The team took to the water pitch under the lights to the dulcet strains of the Champions League music, walking out in the November mizzle to their adulate fans the team were keen to impress another victory on the London Premier Division where they currently sit atop with a pleasant view as if on Hampstead Heath over all of London.
Andrew Fell’s men began brightly with plenty of possession and England International Vivek Dongha delighting the balcony led by England International Matt Ramshaw on the PA with his wizard like touch. But it was Sim Sausage Bird who ultimately brought the house down with a lovely finish from the right hand side of the East London D helped along by a superb cross from Dr Charles Rookes, a clean strike from Todd Lomas and the final death rattle of a Sim Bird reverse into the bottom left hand corner. It arrived like a thunder clap in Donegal and gave the M2’s some welcome breathing space from the East London threat.
Ollie Wickens began his 2’s career in some style repelling a succession of PC’s, his double act with namesake Ollie Wickham ensured our defensive lines were well marshalled and the social Will Shepherdson continues to impress with his hard running and simple distribution.
The 2nd half saw some ill discipline creep in as once again the M2’s closed ranks to play with 10 men for elongated passages as various sit downs were orchestrated led by the fearsome Doctor Rookes. Harry Haynes meanwhile showed his turn of pace and electrified the Trent Park night with some dazzling runs down the right channel whilst Mark Ellis quietly kept the show on the road with an authoritative performance from the middle of the field. But it was Louie Sadler who won hearts and minds with a long legged display of strength and sprightly running, winning the coveted Corney & Barrow MVP balcony award.
It was in truth a battling, at time ugly and at other times a quite hairy experience of a hockey game. The 2’s like to keep their friends close and their enemies closer and thus despite the unbeaten season, few of the games have seen wide margins. Yet the spirit is strong and the Red and Black heart beats strong through a team which continues to hunt down the much vaunted promotion spot come April. This weekend the boys travel to Simon Walker’s alma matter for a show down with 2nd placed West Herts and the crunchiest of crunch games.