Southgate Magnums 0 – 0 Bromley & Beckenham
Magnums gained their first League point of the season, following 2-6 and 0-3 reversals in recent weeks against Old Cranleighans and Hampstead, with a determined display against a Brombeck side featuring a number of new faces and several with international credentials.
Graeme Welch, Magnums’ England Masters midfield star, was a welcome returnee from a trip Down Under and, despite not having played since August, he gave the side an immediate lift, by orchestrating attacks via clever interplays with Colin Warne, leading to an early penalty corner. This was, however, cleared by Brombeck who were hampered initially due to three of their fourteen players missing the start through traffic problems.
By fifteen minutes in, the visitors were at full strength and they started to assert a dominance on the match that they largely retained until the end. They threw wave after wave into the Magnums’ D, their highly mobile forwards being able to find the space to fire shots in, only to see themselves thwarted by keeper Cliff Peck in outstanding form, at one stage making three close range saves in the space of a minute.
Shortly afterwards Brombeck thought they had scored when their centre-forward sent a shot goalwards from a rebound after Cliff had saved his first effort. However, an appeal was made to the umpire who, after lengthy consultation with his colleague, overturned the goal decision as the forward had used his foot along the way.
So 0-0 (somehow) at halftime but facing the prospect of a rerun of The Alamo in the second half. This proved to be correct as the younger and more numerous opposition continued the pressure but generally came unstuck against the solid defensive line of Tim Gingell, Jez Lavy, Tony Mastroddi, Trevor Read and Nick Hollett. The intensity was such that several of Magnums’ midfield and forward players came back to help out in the D but 10 minutes into the second half things took a turn for the worse. First, Pom was green carded for a heavy tackle; then Tim for one similar, then Graeme yellow carded, so reducing Magnums to 8 players for nearly two minutes. A series of penalty corners to the opposition followed but Cliff reprised his heroics from the first half, at one point flinging himself full length to palm away a goalbound shot that emerged through a crowded D.
In the midfield and forward line Patti, Ian Grammer, Pom and Robin Tullo worked hard for the team, making themselves available and harassing the opposition when the play broke down, whilst Jez’ legendary workrate caught up with him by way of a strained calf.
A great team performance kept out an opposition that was technically better, quicker, fitter, etc, and who had had 14 penalty corners to Magnums’ 1; for once a 0-0 felt like a victory, and it is rumoured that even Tim was smiling at the end.
Man of the Match – Cliff Peck