Southgate vs Tulse HIill & Dulwich
match report by Tom Murphy
A 9.15 meet away at Dulwich college must be one of the worst possible fixtures (from a Southgate perspective), but the Southgate 2s were there in force as we prepared for the last game of the season. Except Lewis was late. As was Hugo, with a bag full of damp kit. And the bronzed Louie Sadler (finally coming back after his 3rd 3 week ski trip of the year) managed to go to the wrong location so he was late too. Not the best start for our team but we all got there…eventually.
The game was a very close one, being end to end for the most part. It was TH&D that broke through first after a bouncing ball gets all the way to the back post for an easy tap in for their forward. Some great build up between Lum Chau (on his final game (maybe)) and Batch created some good chances but nothing seemed to be going on target, including Chau’s attempt from the edge of the D, a big swing but no ding, leaving him on his arse. We finally won our first corner which drew fired high into the roof above the head of the 13 year old looking Dulwich goalkeeper. 1-1.
Louie Sadler spent this game channeling his inner Tom Daley, winning fouls all over the pitch by a tactical flop on the floor at the slightest contact.
The second half came with the scored level at 1:1, with us finally growing into the game.
Dulwich started the 2nd half very strongly, grabbing an early goal from a reverse hit from the edge of the d, beating Veysel at the near post. 2-1 down though, we started to get better control of the ball. Charlie Rookes’ expert passing out from the back (passing out being something he’s got quite good at recently) helped us build some more attacks, and vitally win some more corners. Drew sent the next corner flying into the net, levelling the scores at 2:2.
A free hit was won just behind the half way line (probably through another Sadler dive) which Ollie Wickham strolled up to and creamed a forehand hit through the heart of the Dulwich defence to a wide open Westy on the edge of the D. With all the time in the world, he carried towards the keeper, waited, waited a bit longer, and then finally put it into the corner to give us the lead for the first time.
3-2 up with about 15 mins to go put us in a pretty comfortable position, until the Dulwich forward ‘Danger’ picked up his 2nd and 3rd in quick succession to put Dulwich 4-3 up before we even knew what hit us.
With just minutes left and a goal behind, we start to attack with everything we’ve got. Tireless work from the forward line resulted in Drew getting the ball in the d with no defenders around, 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper for our club top goalscorer and he… passed? The grateful (but definitely shocked) Desty tapped the ball in at the back post to get his second of the match, levelling the scores again.
With the scores level in the dying seconds, Ollie Wickham (mis)hits a ball into the d, where none other than Lum Chau, on his last game before retirement, was waiting with his stick down for a fairytale ending. A perfect deflection from chau sees the ball sail past the keeper and onto the inside of the post, causing the ball to trickle along the goal line, where drew taps the ball in from close range, stealing the movie-esque winning goal from Chau. 5-4 final score.
What a game for the barmy army of spectators (Erdal Demir and Sim Bird) in Dulwich to watch.
Overall, it was a thrilling game with refreshingly good umpiring, no cards and a very likeable opposition. What a way to end a good season, earning 3rd place behind Wimbledon and Surbiton despite a very shaky start to the season.