Mens 1’s 0-1 L vs Brighton & Hove HC M1’s
After the heroics of last weekend’s victory against top of the league Reading it was always going to be a tough act to follow in what was, on paper at least, a dead rubber against auld foes Brighton.
England Hockey however had other ideas and owing to a last minute rule change to the rules on relegation/promotion suddenly Brighton found themselves no longer relegated but instead playing a must win game against auld foes Southgate.
Although Mothering Sunday, a throng of spectators came down to witness the brothers Sterlini battling it out on the pitch and hopefully some Southgate goals to see off the last home game of the season. In truth though the game never really got going. An early goal to Brighton from a counter attack was swiftly over ruled (thanks to some supportive comments from the balcony) yet within minutes Brighton converted a smart PC and went 1 up mid way through the 1st quarter.
Gate had their chances but they felt few and far between as despite dominating for the better part of the game were unable to threaten meaningfully in the D. Lots of hard work, some fine distribution and a large dose of patience gradually wore away as the minutes ticked on.
A huge cheer met the first Gate PC in Q2 but this was run down well by the Brighton defence who deserve credit for a steely display that kept all Southgate’s advanced at bay.
Keeper Ollie Wickens delighted the balcony with some fine saves from the remaining 2 Brighton PC’s in the second half and John Sterlini went close with a drag flick saved well by the Brighton keeper in the final quarter.
The game ended to cheers from the Brighton players as Southgate’s men signed off from Trent Park paying thanks to the loyal balcony support. This weekend the lads have a chance to finish the season on a high against mid table Teddington in a game that always provides plenty of drama.
It was Giles Woodland’s final game for the side as he heads of to University next year and faces an U18 boys final at Reading on Sunday. Giles has been a fantastic asset for the squad and the club this year and will be much missed. We wish him all the best and look forward to welcoming at the club very soon.