In an exciting match at the Southgate Hockey Centre, Southgate M3’s demonstrated their prowess and dominance over their opponents, Richmond (HC not Lum), securing a convincing 7-2 victory. Despite their dominating performance, Southgate conceded two goals due to momentary lapses in concentration in the defensive line. The match showcased the excellent skills and teamwork of Southgate’s players, with Sachin, Kabir, Jez, and Westy all making significant contributions.
The match began with a palpable sense of excitement, with both teams displaying their determination to secure a win. Southgate took control of the game from the first whistle, applying relentless pressure on Richmond’s defence. It was a one-sided affair for the first 15 minutes, with the play stuck in the attacking third for Southgate. However, on one of the few occasions that Richmond ventured into Southgate’s final third, a ball hit from outside the 25 made its way through the screen, the cover defender, and found the attacker who had taken a few yards from his defender to deftly deflect the ball in, making it 1-0. Surprisingly, despite controlling the game up to this point, Southgate’s heads dropped, and they sombrely walked the ball back to the halfway line to restart.
This sombreness was quickly replaced by renewed ferocity in the attack. With a strong carry to the shoulder of the D from Joshim marauding up from the left back, Southgate won a long corner, which, within a few short passes, found its way to Webby. He carried from the 25 to the baseline around the D and found the striker in the form of Westy, who slotted the ball into the top corner to make it 1-1. Things at this point started to gather momentum.
Scoreline aside, Southgate went into the halftime team talk with a good grasp of the game. The main message from the coach and players was to keep the pressure on and continue working hard for each other. Within the first 5 minutes of the second half, after making the keeper make a good save, there was a scramble in the D involving Jez, Westy, and Lewis. Amidst the chaos and pressure, Jez exhibited exceptional determination as he threaded the ball through the throng of players and the keeper, ultimately finding the back of the net.
Three minutes later, Southgate was back on the charge. A sensational aerial pass over the top of the last line of defence from Lewis put Harry through to carry along the baseline and cut back to an arriving midfielder, Sachin, who calmly played the ball into the bottom corner. At this point, with the score at 3-1, Richmond was starting to implode. They were losing their temper with themselves, the umpires, and the Southgate players who were running circles around them. Despite a few outbursts from the Richmond captain, Southgate remained calm and collected, keeping the pressure on.
Shortly after the third goal, in a similar fashion of wide D entry and a ball across into the middle, Kabir found the back of the net from Lucca’s pass with the style and panache that Kabir typically reserves for scoring. After celebrating with outstretched arms, Kabir made his way back to the halfway line to restart. With adrenaline running high, Kabir and the troops sprinted into action. Just 45 seconds after scoring his first, Kabir found the back of the net again, this time with a quick second-phase tap-in off a save from the keeper.
Richmond, however, showed a singular moment of resilience, capitalizing on a defensive lapse to pull one goal back, making it 5-2. This was their last opportunity to score, though. As the second half continued, Southgate’s relentless offensive pressure and quick ball movement kept Richmond’s defence on edge. Jez, the talismanic midfielder, scored another magnificent goal to extend Southgate’s lead. His deft dribbling skills and impeccable finishing were a sight to behold. Carrying from outside the 25, he pushed past the defenders and unleashed a strike from the edge of the D that hit the sideboard and backboard with a clap that would have made Zeus jealous.
In the dying moments of the game, Westy added another goal to his tally, securing a brace for himself and sealing a resounding 7-2 victory for Southgate. The final whistle marked a dominant performance by the home team, showcasing their exceptional teamwork and individual brilliance.
Southgate’s coach praised the team’s efforts, emphasizing their ability to maintain control and composure throughout the match. While the defensive lapses resulting in two conceded goals were noted as areas for improvement, the overall performance was exceptional, with Sachin, Kabir, Jez, and Westy standing out. One player, though, was a driving force throughout the match, a metronome that kept the team on beat. He didn’t score any goals, but he was paramount in the team’s success. That player was Lewis.
This victory solidifies Southgate Men’s 3s’ position as a formidable force in London hockey. What made the victory even better was the news that the Mens 2s destroyed West Hampstead, and the Mens 4s won against one of the top teams in the league, Barnes 2s. It’s a shame that the 1s teams lost against Surbiton, but it was a fantastic event put on by Alastair and Co. down at the SHC. #UpThe3s #Undefeated