Match Report : Alex & Simon Holmes
Result : Southgate 0-1 Cheshunt 2s
Starting off on a breezy Saturday afternoon, the 4As were gathering to play the Cheshunt Men’s 2s.
Raj began by leading the team for a warmup on the sand pitch (while the mighty David and Phil H were helping with a Tankards match on the Water Pitch), with a variety of stretches and runs preparing us for the challenge ahead.
The 1st half started off well, with the team immediately settling into a solid structure based on Jon and Phil P keeping a solid defence, and with Andy playing the pivotal Centre Midfield role. The initial phases of the match looked promising with several solid passes being built up from the back,
through the middle, and eventually sending the ball into the D. However, it was at this point that the first sign of what was to come appeared – we encountered an inability to put a shot on target, or onto a foot. As the first attacked waned, Cheshunt demonstrated the only weapon in their arsenal,
but the one that would be our downfall: A very good long and high aerial that launched the ball into our half. This pattern of an attack and then an aerial leading to a retreat, would unfortunately become the story of the entire match. Despite this, the defence, comprising of the indomitable trio
of youngsters David, Sajiv and Alex, as well as seasoned professionals Hud Dog and Phil P made sure that this onslaught of aerials amounted to little.
Jon Hud Dog, excited after scoring two goals the previous week, and frustrated with the lack of shots, made a strong run right from his position in Centre Back, all the way to their D, receiving a well-placed pass from Simon, which resulted in our only on-target shot in the first half. Unfortunately, like many others, this shot resulted in nothing more than aerial. We continued to regroup and rebuild throughout the game and our minds were starting to turn towards an opportunity to regroup at half time when disaster struck – Cheshunt, with their only shot on goal in the entire game, somehow struck lucky and dribbled the ball over the line in the ensuing goalmouth scramble. However, this one shot, after an unlucky missed save by goalkeeper Nigel, meant that we were now down 1-0 against Cheshunt 2s.
After half time, with the team energetically re-motivated by Captain Hud-Dog’s infamous (and eerily prophetic) words of “as long as we don’t lose 1-0″, the 4As set out onto the hockey pitch again.
Trying to ensure that we didn’t lose, the team was full of energy and devotion, with Raj making countless sprints up and down the pitch, managing to cover large amounts of distance, and Finn always getting the ball inside their 25’, while the beguiling James lurked menacingly behind the opposition defence. The team continued with several good attacks, and even began getting short corners. With the experience and finesse of Andy running the gameplay at each of four short corners we came closer and closer to a goal, yet frustratingly an equaliser remained just beyond our grasp. Even with some tantalisingly close chances, including people on the floor to try and score, the result remained at 1-0. As the second half began to wane, more great attacks were made by the entire time with Phil H making good chances up the line, and Wolfey providing a solid option on the right.
However, as was the theme of the entire match, the conversion of chances to goals had a 0% success rate. As the match finally finished, and the umpires’ whistles blew, we had in fact, as Hud-Dog said we wouldn’t do, lost 1-0. While the air of the team was not a good one, one fact was pointed out, that we had “made the other team happy” and were spreading the love. With a wide range of man of the match votes, it eventually came down to Phil H’s vote, and so Phil P was decided as man of the match, with Raj close behind. All in a day’s work for the 4As.