Report by Alessandro Onaro.

The M4s set off with sky-high expectations but returned with a bitter taste and, importantly, zero points.

This week’s opponent was Crostyx 1, the second powerhouse of the league. Our lads, despite a few last-minute injuries, arrived at Lee Valley in full force, bolstered by the invaluable sideline support of Chris Pearce.

However, the M4s’ start was a bit wobbly, with the game’s control initially in the hands of the hosts. Southgate had a golden opportunity to take the lead, but a well-defended short corner kept the score level. Crostyx then attacked, creating numerical superiority with clever midfield insertions. Their two goals before half-time were textbook examples of exploiting numerical advantages.

During the break, Chris managed to reorganise the team, and the M4s returned with renewed spirit: tighter in marking and pressing the opponents in their own area. Zech’s goal from a short corner was the fruit of this sustained pressure.

There was a fleeting moment where it seemed Southgate might level the score. However, Crostyx swiftly widened the gap first through a counter-attack and then a short corner, proving decisive.

The M4s deserve credit for not losing heart and even narrowing the gap with a fine goal by Alex Christie, who coolly beat the opposing goalkeeper after a great assist from Scott Ellis (although Alastair reportedly tried to claim the assist – let’s not get into that debate).

The final score of 4-2 leaves a bit of disappointment, especially considering the second half, but probably reflects the on-pitch dynamics.

Weather permitting, our boys are now gearing up for the home challenge against East London, aiming to add some much-needed points to the tally.

MoM Zech Mengrani (forward)