Flagons win again as M1s drop points

Southgate’s men’s O40s have clinched another win – this time 2-1 at home v Wimbledon while M1s battle to a draw away at Oxford Hawks.

Brilliant game, relentless effort, right result,” said jubilant captain Greg Wildisen.

They’re a dedicated bunch these Flagons with players flying in from Scotland and Colombia to make sure they didn’t miss the fixture. Scotty scored the first on his reverse stick and a beautiful team effort was given a proper Flagons finish by Joergen for the winner. “…In the end I think we wanted it more, so we go the result,” concluded Wildisen.

Meanwhile M1s resumed their quest for promotion after the winter break with a trip to Oxford, and despite both leading and coming from behind twice, they will feel disappointed at dropping points in match where they were not clinical enough.

Facing their nearest rivals in the table, Magnums suffered an early scare when Brom/Beck scored after five minutes. Nevertheless the O50s outfit rallied and

managed to equalise before half time.

The second half saw the team raise their game improving passing and closure, resulting in four more goals despite injuries and being down to 10 players for the last quarter.

A great all round performance in the end with Jatin Patel claiming man of the match.

Southgate Men’s 5s drew for a second time with Wayfarers Barbarians, in what was a difficult away game played with a bare 11. With only 10 regular players available, Tankards and former 5s regular Mark Thomsett stepped in to provide vital defensive reinforcements and help the team gain a vital point against strong opposition. Southgate spent most of the game diligently defending, limiting the home side to three penalty corners and few clear chances from open play. However, Barbarians took the lead early on, when a weak shot managed to deceive an unfortunate Jon Dann in goal. As the youthful leading line of Southgate looked to make inroads at the other end, it was a penalty corner that allowed Ivan Stark to step out of defence and drag flick low into the goal. Assured performances in midfield from Vivek Dongha, Laurence Whyatt and Ben Millson allowed the away side some respite for periods of the second half, whilst Jon Dann made a couple of solid saves to keep the home side at bay.

Arriving at RAF Holton in the fading light as the mercury lowered M3As were met with the reassuring MOD threat level set to “heightened”. This perhaps
should also have served as due warning to the Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead 2s players who faced a depleted but determined Southgate side fleshed out with some new faces, writes Alastair Whatley.

Nigel Knight in a central defensive midfield position dominated the middle of the pitch feeding out to the ever present Harry Grinham at left mid and Nakhil Chana down the right channel. BHH showed some initial threat with the self-appointed future Southgate M1s keeper Veysil Demir making some blinding saves.
Jackson Trathen enjoyed a cracking game in the attacking central midfield
role and linked well with James Atkinson whose pace and skill up
front made the oppo sweat. Eventually Atkinson pushed a ball across to the
top of the D and Alastair Whatley on his debut shot squarely to give Southgate the lead.

Within minutes though BHH scrapped their way to an equaliser and the score remained at 1-1 when the half-time whistle went, although the momentum was back with Southgate.
Some rallying words from Ravi Chana, Phil Peters and Knight at the break came back out on the attack continually and with purpose, Brian Cade and Peters
mopping up with élan anything the oppo threw at them in defence.
With the scores tied, the game was looking like a missed opportunity as the clock counted down but as the clock struck 12, the away team were awarded a short corner. Repelled only for there to be a re-award, and a chance for a five-way zig-zag finished by Atkinson to five Southgate the winner in the absolute dying second. MoM was Nigel Knight.

Tankards A won 2-0 at home v Royston 2s. A host of short corners for the home team were well saved by the Royston ‘keeper before a patient Kiran Ghosh eventually beat him. The second came from a screamer of a backhand by Matt Ellis in the second half.