Match Report : Neil Murphy
Result : WIN 7-2 vs Bedford Vets
After a nail biting draw last weekend we returned to Snakes Lane for only the second time in five weeks, without Storm Arwen, just two Spencers and two 5A debutants. Our opponents were an experienced, canny Bedford Vets riding high, second in the league and with a seven goal tally the previous week.
This week we welcomed into our defensive line up Michiel van Soest, making his debut after graduating from our Back to Hockey programme and joining his wife (L2’s) and children (Junior section) in Southgate colours for the first time. Also starting for 5A’s for the first time was Alex Christie, another talented member of our U16 squad.
A great mix of youth and experience awaited Ian Grammar’s starting whistle and within the first ten minutes we were 1-0 up (Yuvraj), 1-1 (stunning strike from their CF) and then 2-1 down (another good shot). This felt like it could be a long afternoon as the Bedford Vets used their experience and strong hitting skills to break down our attacks and clear their lines, catching us on the break.
The 5A’s, however, have gained much from the season so far, we know how to get back into the game and show some fight. Our recent displays of good, intelligent passing hockey started to emerge, working the ball well from the back with Stroller marshalling the wing backs and consistently playing them into the game. The final ten minutes of the first half was all about Southgate and the goals followed; one from Os and one from James with a lovely Yuvraj finish disallowed for a short corner.
3-2 up at half-time. The only way to win this game was to up the intensity, use the width and pass our way to victory. Some sage “cruel to be kind” words from Stroller to be stronger in the tackle and on the ball were well placed and the team responded in some style…
The second half was all Southgate and surely our most assured game of the season. Attacks built from the back, excellent transition, dominant midfield – a great team performance. Bedford were camped in their own half under constant siege and the goal tally started to build. A midfield of Antony, Fergus and Os with a forward line of Yuvraj, James, Simon, Daniel (when not driving the midfield) were simply too strong and efficient. Further goals from James and Yuvraj together with Simon and Michiel (on debut – cracking strike) took the final score to 7-2. A fair result…it could have been more.
A proper team performance and the Man of the Match votes reflected this – lots of mentions and strong performances from everyone. Our goal scorers were Yuvraj (2), James (2), Simon, Os and Michiel. An excellent performance from Alex Christie at right back won him MoM – a very impressive 5A debut. Numerous other strong displays included Giles, Daniel, Os, Fergus, Antony, James and Yuvraj (getting stronger and stronger – deserved a hat trick today). A Captain’s mention for Giles and James who both had terrific games and demonstrated that it is not just the junior contingent who can get better and stronger.
A great result reflecting the progress we have made in the season so far. The last game before the Christmas break sees at home again against Letchworth, 3 points below us. Game on…!