By Todd Lomas
In an electrifying hockey match at West Hampstead’s fantastic home ground of the Brent Cross Tesco Car Park, Southgate emerged triumphant with a 3-1 win over the hosts. The game was characterised by intense action, outstanding teamwork, and some remarkable penalty corner conversions from Andrew Westbrook and TJ Hubbard.
Southgate, as the away team, faced a challenging start to the match when West Hampstead took a surprising lead with a fortunate penalty corner in the early minutes of the first half. On a rebound from the keeper, West Hampstead had a swing and a miss in the D, which momentarily caused the defenders to hesitate, expecting a foul. However, when the second swing connected, the ball found the back of the net. Unfortunately for them, the umpire judged no danger, and the second attempt counted. The home team showcased their ability to play to the whistle, leaving the visiting team trailing.
Nevertheless, Southgate were determined to turn the tide in their favour. They launched a series of relentless attacks, putting immense pressure on West Hampstead’s defence. Their persistence paid off as they earned a penalty corner of their own.
Southgate’s expertise in penalty corners was on full display, although not in the straight strike department. They flawlessly executed a left slip routine, leaving West Hampstead’s defence bewildered. Over the course of the next 50 minutes, with remarkable teamwork and precision, Southgate converted three identical short corners into goals, leaving both the spectators and the hosts in awe.
The crowd led by Wayne Garner (and made up of only Wayne Garner) fizzed with excitement as Southgate demonstrated their ability to turn a game on its head and go from being a goal down to full domination. The away team’s defence also put on a solid performance, successfully fending off numerous West Hampstead attacks in the latter part of the game. This really came into question when Ollie Wickham and Charlie Rookes were both sent off on green cards for: ducking a dangerous ball, and asking why the first card was a card, respectively. For 2 minutes, Southgate were put under the cosh and had a dogged defending spell that would have made any coach proud. After the 2 minutes, with one minute to play, West Hampstead threw everything including the kitchen sink and a few tough tackles at Southgate however they stayed resilient and saw out the game.
As the final whistle sounded, Southgate emerged as the victors with a convincing 3-1 win. It was a well-deserved triumph for the visiting team, showcasing their prowess in grafting out a win and their capability to overturn the game in their favour. West Hampstead might have taken the early lead, but Southgate’s determination and teamwork ultimately proved to be the decisive factors in this thrilling hockey match. Clearly, the added effort of the Coach to make the M3s a more professional and organised outfit is paying off; the powerpoints and analysis videos will continue…
After the match, Southgate enjoyed some well-deserved beverages, hydrating and refuelling for the sensational spectacle that was the Mens 1s game against H&W. Although not the result that befitted the performance by the Southgate 1s, a fantastical event to be a part of from the sidelines. Well done to the M3s for another great win and well done to the M1s for a cracking performance against a top side.
MoM: Akshay for some acrobatic and athletic saves between the sticks to keep us safe.
DoD: Captain Lucca for leaving his stick and making his mother bring it to him thus making Coach Todd, Driver Aman, and Mr. Biggins late to the meet time.