Result: 1-1 Draw at Full time. Southgate go through by winning on Penalty Strokes (scoring all 5).
Match Report (by Neil Prior)
With competitive hockey back on the agenda Southgate Boys U18s faced a local derby against St Albans in the first round of the England Hockey Cup Competition. The winner would have the prospect of either Old Loughtonians or Hampstead & Westminster in the next round on 13th June – a result was a requirement.
This was a game played at pace with wonderful skill shown by both sides. Southgate looked the more composed in the early stages of the contest, using the midfield well to distribute the ball out wide and so that the flanks could attack the St Albans penalty area. Quick passes were more effective than ball-carrying (as is always the case boys!) and chances were created but there was no early goal. However, the Southgate goal came mid-way through the first half, was from a great piece of individual skill from Jackson Trathen who skilled his way past three or four St Albans players at pace, riding some mis-timed tackles and executing a delightful reverse stick strike into the bottom left corner of the goal for Southgate to take the lead into half time. However, the first half was far from a one-sided affair, Tom Fish had to pull off some crucial saves in goal, Sam Marshall and Lucas Jaehnig were required to deal calmly and firmly with some clever St Albans attacks. Sam Ziff reminded us all of his pace and grace in carrying the ball out of danger and the ever reliable right half – Josh Chandler – showed us all how to turn defence into attack with some blistering moves up the right flank.
St Albans, regrouping at half time 1-NIL down, made it clear early in the second half that they meant business and piled the pressure on. Southgate got a bit out of shape at times and ill-timed tackles resulted in both sides receiving green cards – the worst of which coming from the umpire’s son – Oscar Prior! Not to be outdone, the son of the other umpire received a card of the same colour for suggesting rather too loudly and bluntly that the umpire should “use his eyes”!
The sustained pressure from St Albans resulted in a flurry of short corners – the inevitable happened – St Albans equalised and their tails were up. John Shaw coaching from the sidelines was pushing the boys to go for the win and Southgate were creating chances and winning two or three short corners in the second period, but high quality defence and goalkeeping was keeping the scores level. Then an attack from St Albans caught the pushing-forward Southgate off-guard, they were three-on-two. Tom Fish made a couple of stops but the ball rebounded to the St Albans player to seemingly slot the ball into the open goal when from somewhere Josh Chandler appeared a whipped the ball cleanly off the end of the St Alban stick and, with the help of his team mates, ushered the ball to safety. Panic over! The final chance of the game came to Southgate – winning a short corner on the final whistle. This was not converted so it was to be penalty strokes to decide the victor.
The toss was won by Southgate – Sam Marshall electing (wisely) to go first.
In order up stepped the Southgate Five:
Lucas Jaehnig – bottom left – GOAL
Noah Lavy – bottom left – GOAL
Ruben Straat – bottom right -GOAL
Jackson Trathen – top left – GOAL
Sam Marshall (to win the contest with St Albans having scored three and put one wide) – bottom left – GOAL AND VICTORY!
Well done all – Tom Fish, Sam Marshall, Lucas Jaehnig, Sam Ziff, Josh Chandler, Matt Crowe, Jackson Trathen, Ruben Straat, Noah Lavy, Oscar Prior, Jack Levene, Cameron Clayton-Smith & Aman Chaya – a great team effort from all 13 of you.
Many thanks to John Shaw for his much-needed expert coaching and player-testosterone management, to Sarah Jenkins for ensuring that we had a complete team (of eligible players) and to all the parents for their support.
Bring on OLs or H&W on 13th June!