Match Report : Mathew Mitchell
Result : WIN 4-3.
Coming off the back of 2 consecutive wins, Southgate M5’s came into the game against Chiswick full of confidence, and with a determination to keep their new found momentum going to make amends for a slightly disjointed and frustrating start to the season.
Following a rousing team talk from Andy, the Mighty 5s set the tone for the game from the opening whistle, pressing and harrying Chiswick, who struggled to find any rhythm or make any inroads into the Southgate half. The impressive pressure paid off for the home team, with Leo Garner converting an Ivan Stark lay off from a Penalty Corner.
1-0 to the Mighty 5s
On what must have been one of Chiswick’s first forays into the Southgate half, they found themselves presented with a rare opportunity from a Penalty Corner of their own. The ball was slipped back to the injector who managed to squeeze in the equaliser from a tight angle.
Southgate could not have responded any better to the unexpected equaliser, immediately driving at the Chiswick defence from the restart to win yet another Penalty Corner. This time Ivan Stark smartly dummied, waited for the keeper to make a move and slotted the ball straight down the middle to quickly restore Southgate’s fully deserved lead.
2-1 to the Mighty 5s
Although Chiswick’s physical threat up front was largely nullified throughout by Southgate’s dominance of possession, they once again found a foothold in the game through a simple but well worked goal. The forward in blue used his strength to hold off a couple of Southgate defenders down the left channel, creating an overload in the centre of the D which ended in the ball being fired high into the net for the equaliser.
The final 10 minutes of the half saw Chiswick digging in and clinging on to keep the scores level, as endless waves of Southgate pressure cut off their passing lanes and drowned their defence in a sea of red shirts, all spearheaded by the tireless movement of the energetic forward line of Leo Garner, Alex Hyer, Arun Solanki, and James Marriot.
A positive and determined half time team talk ensured the M5’s continued the 2nd half in the same manner as the first half, in the knowledge that the result would follow if they did. Chiswick were evidently buoyed by the fact they were still somehow level, and pushed a lone striker further forward to maintain that rare threat on the break.
It was a telling sign of the M5’s territorial dominance that the next goal was scored from open play by a centre-back, who arrived at the top of the D to pick up a half-cleared ball from yet more goalmouth action around the Chiswick goal. Finding an opening of clear space to move into, Mat Mitchell scored his first ever M5’s goal with a hard slap into the bottom corner to restore Southgate’s lead.3-2 to the Mighty 5s
With more pressure mounting on the away team, Southgate confidently pushed and probed, stretching the Chiswick defence left and right, and could have added to their goal tally on multiple occasions. Nevertheless, the M5’s didn’t have to wait too long, and soon put some daylight between the two teams as Alex Hyer capped a fine performance with a well-deserved goal, sliding the ball home after more good build-up play to double Southgate’s advantage.
4-2 to the Mighty 5s
The goal would prove to be vital, as Chiswick finally began to move up the pitch with increased numbers to look for a way back into the match. Despite this, it was still Southgate who were creating the better chances, with Freddie Trathen unlucky not to convert a reverse stick shot following a mazy run around multiple blue shirts, and both Adam Shackleford and Leo Garner getting in behind the defence and forcing good saves from the keeper following fantastic through balls from Andy and Arun respectively.
It was however the away team who struck the 7th and final goal of the match, as a stinging shot was initially well blocked by M5’s keeper Jon Dann, who could only watch as the rebound was then immediately returned into the bottom corner of the Southgate goal. The remaining 5 minutes of the game were seen out with relative ease, with youngsters Ethan Mehendran and Kiran Ghosh providing both attacking support and calm defensive stability from the full back positions, well marshalled by the solid experience of Nigel Knight in the middle.
MOTM -A tough one to call this week given great performances all over the pitch, but Freddie Trathen was the pick of the bunch, with an excellent display of direct attacking play and wonderful stick skills, which opened up the opposition defence time and time again.