In an intense clash that showcased the talent within Southgate, the 3s and 4s went head-to-head in a thrilling encounter that resulted in a resounding victory for one side. The final scoreline stood at 6-0 in favour of the 3s, who put on a dominating performance throughout the match.
The match kicked off with a sense of anticipation in the air, as both Southgate teams aimed to showcase their skills and claim bragging rights. Right from the opening whistle, the 3s demonstrated their intent by controlling possession and pushing forward aggressively. It was clear that it wasn’t going to come easily though, as the strength and organization of the 4s defence was steadfast in protecting its goal, with a special mention to Alex Christie who was commanding the team around him in a Napoleonic fashion.
The mighty 3s offensive strategy finally paid off as they broke through the resilient defence of the 4s, scoring their first goal 20 minutes into the match. A PC won by the silky hands of Kabir led to a right slip to Alex Gibson who reversed the ball towards the far post, taking a defenders deflection in. This goal set the tone for the remainder of the first half. The 3s continued to apply relentless pressure, forcing the 4s goalkeeper, Sam Rowson, who was standout in both halves, to make several critical saves. However, despite relentless attacks from the 3s, the score at the end of the first half was only 1-0 in favour of the mighty red and black men.
After a tactical team talk and unfortunately no little half time sweeties (not good enough), the second half saw no let-up in the 3s determination and hunger for goals. They continued to dominate possession and execute precise passing, making it incredibly challenging for the 4s to mount a comeback. The 3s’ teamwork and chemistry on the field were on full display as ramped up the pressure and an early breakthrough came from a 2nd phase of a PC when Harry slotted the ball into the goal from a tight angle on the right-hand side to make it 2-0.
At this point, the sharks started to circle. The pressing was hard, the marking was tight and the 3s’ pressure won turnover after turnover. The scoreline was increased by one and a couple game long flicking drought was ended when Charlie Rookes calmly launched the ball over the keeper’s shoulder in a penalty corner. Credit to the 3s, at this point they did not start slacking. Many teams would see a comfortable lead and start reverting to bad habits however the play remained professional and clinical.
The 4s, despite the deficit, showed resilience and fought hard to create a couple scoring opportunities. However, they were thwarted time and again by the solid defence and excellent midfield track-back displayed by the 3s. A 4th goal came when in the high transfer, Rookes got the ball towards the edge of the D and confidently took it in and shot. Now, post-match thought was that Will Wright, who had been electric, had gotten the last touch to deflect it in – however the latest update from the VAR room over the road (at Todds house) is that it was a defender’s touch so the goal can be credited to Dr Rookes.
The reader may know that the 3s had an extremely dangerous half back in the ranks for this fixture. Some call him the beast from the east, some call him Crickets answer to Haaland, but the 3s just call him Jupton. At a late point in the 2nd half, said beast went on a marauding run into the D, beat two players and crossed it to Will Wright who first time slapped it in from near post into the bottom corner. Finesse and elegance were the names of his game, and Jupton came to show it. Will’s finish was pretty insane too.
Without sounding like the Jack Upton Fan Club, he then went on to produce a tidy assist. Standing at fullback, 5 yards out of the 4s 25, he slotted the ball to Harry who had let horizontally across the shoulder of the D. Picking it up wide and on his reverse, he whipped round to face the goal and carry along the baseline. With a stroke of genius, luck or both, he slung the ball underneath the keeper from a yard off the baseline to make it 6-0. Only available for the 2nd half, a pretty impressive display during his 35 minutes.
The final score of 6-0 reflects Southgate’s complete dominance over Southgate in the Southgate HC derby. They showcased their prowess in both attack and defence throughout the match, leaving little room for the 4s to make a significant impact. The victory for the 3s not only earns them local bragging rights but also serves as a testament to their skill and teamwork. Credit where credit is due, despite the scoreline, there were some standout performances from the 4s players, who did not faulter nor give in once during the 70 minutes. Defensively, the 4s were compact, organised and well-disciplined with a low error rate and zero cards. In an obviously quite one-sided affair, the 4s forwards who were back in full team defence also put in a dedicated display of pressing and attempting to counter from very deep in their half.
Overall, it was an exciting match that highlighted the passion and talent for hockey within Southgate. Both teams displayed sportsmanship and determination, contributing to an entertaining spectacle for the fans in attendance. Congratulations to the 3s on their impressive victory, and commiserations to the 4s for their valiant efforts. I shall let the reader decide whether the 3s are still the best performance side in the club. #UpThe3s #Unbeaten