Result : WIN 1-0 vs London Wayfarers
Match Report : Milly Berndes-Cade
On Sunday SHC Goblets ventured south of the river to play London Wayfarers. Will the city be red and black or Orange and white?!
Battersea Park All Weather Sports Ground was the host for the London derby game and the all weather aspect was tested to its limits by the ferocious wind and rain. Petition to make hockey a summer sport anyone?
The squad was lead by captain, club secretary and all round good egg, Alastair Whatley. Several key members had other responsibilities on the day: Charles Hamilton, Barney Collier and Louie Sadler were all called up to play for the men’s 1’s. The team was also hit by positive lateral flow tests and niggles picked up on Saturday games. However, this did not dampen the spirit of the Goblets who were joined by supremo recruits in Megan Lam, Jackson Trathern and Vivek Dongha. Even with the terrific trio, the Goblets were still limited to two subs against a healthy five for the opposition.
After accidentally touring all of Battersea Park’s attractions – including a Zoo and Go-ape – the game was finally underway.
Wayfarers had a clear tactic from the outset and kept one or two players high in the SHC defensive D at all times. This was no issue for the solid back line who managed the opposition perfectly and we’re instructed continuously by GK superstar Veysel. Lucy Sheffield and Zoe Griffiths intercepted countless ‘up the line’ balls with Rhi Hart sweeping up the possession in front of them. Ben Berndes-Cade made some strong tackles on their forwards and took no prisoners!
The Goblets had great possession throughout the first half and dominated the midfield where JT and VD cast spells on their opposite number and carried the ball strongly through the centre of the pitch.
With depleted numbers, the forward line in Todd Lomas, AW and Michelle Joubert had to work hard in the press and were worked hard by the Wayf defence. Lots of hard slaps and hits reached the forwards and chance were so close yet so far! A drag flick from MBC was saved off the line by a beady eyed defender and a left slip-slap from RHI Hart sailed past the post as the flyers didn’t do their flying! The first half also saw Rhian Hart expertly carve a reverse hit across the D with her first touch which was graceful picked out of the Battersea sky by TL who finished with a volley into the goal. Unfortunately, the goal was overruled by the umpires who must have been trying to keep everything friendly and fair… we’ll come back to this.
So we go into half-time 0-0, a tough first half which saw a big shift from all involved. Inspiring words were given by the captain and senior players LS and TD. Filled with optimism- and 5kg of rain water weight each – the Goblets headed into the second half.
It was another close start with Wayfarers making the most of their subs bench. SHC legs were heavy but determination was high . Highlights included a chef’s kiss cross into the far post for a tap in from Michelle Joubert and Alastair Whatley who seemed to cover all basis with one standing and one diving deflection, but the oppositions GK had other ideas and tipped the ball just past the SHC strikers.
Another short corner called for another slip-slap from RH, now hoping the flyers had found their wings! The ball was fired in and found an offensive touch which changed its direction towards the other side of the goal. Waiting, ready to pounce on his opportunity, was the captain himself! A hard touch into the back of the ball and through the defender put the Goblets 1-0 up! But the umpires were being true to their friendliness (remember that from earlier?!) and decided to have a very democratic chat with both captains and both goal keepers to kindly ask them for their opinion on whether the goal, was in fact, a goal. I’m not sure that we’ve ever encountered such a philosophical debate about a goal in mixed hockey before and the swings and roundabouts went on for quite some time before the decision was signed, sealed and delivered: GOAL! 1-0 to SHC.
However, the game was not up. Wayfarers were on the offensive and determined to settle the difference. SHC packed the pitch and battled hard. A few cards were picked up and one of our new recruits, Megan Lam, lead from midfield with her hardiness and skill. She picked up a big hit to the leg from a ball that was fired in high and wore the impact well with a big bruise for her troubles!
The freneticism grew as the game edged closer and closer to the final whistle. Wayfarers removed their GK and amounted a mass of pressure on the SHC defence who battled well but couldn’t stop a short corner awarded in the final throws of the game. The opposition 11 lined up along the D with big dreams to score an equaliser. The ball is injected in and slapped from the top of the D straight to no.1 runner TL who quite casually stops the ball and aerials it out of the D and to safety.
SHC come away as winners and LDN is red and black!
Thanks for this game go to Brian Cade for being our travelling umpire and AW for organising the fixture. Lea Valley, we’re on our way to get you! 🏆