Report by Will Hargrove.

H&W – 2, Southgate – 2 (goals by Greg Wildisen and Will Hargrove).

With the game before us at Paddington Rec having been cancelled we were at least pleased to be playing. One touchline was pretty slippery. The game started with us under a lot of pressure from a team of 20 and 30 years olds (we were teenagers and over 40s) and seeing very little ball. But it was actually us through a counter attack that scored through Greg Wildisen. This was a bit against play but was well taken. We started to come into the game more and more from here and the “second quarter“ was probably honours even but during this time we won a good short through Alex Prior and converted it with Hargrove scoring off a “Zig-Zag”. It had been a pretty feisty affair all through with neither umpire (whilst not remotely biased) blowing loud, early or clearly enough. We were thinking a half time 0-2 would be good but then they scored, their skipper slinging the ball into the D and a forward getting a very tidy deflection – nothing Commons or the valiant defence could do – just a well take goal.

Half time was all about calming down (that didn’t really happen) and keeping the ball better (some joy here). The second half was sponsored by the colour red (blood) and green (cards). With only about ten minutes played in the second half they scored a good interplay goal and things were tied up. There after a very frustrating episode lead to both Oz and Hargrove having a green at the same time both for unrequested feedback. We weathered this though and for the last 10 minutes both sides went all out for the win. A few clashes ensued and Oz had to go off for a nasty cut under his chin. They also suffered a green card. The final whistle went and the draw was confirmed. Cheers were shouted and hands were shook so at least none of the over exuberance left a mark.

Going through the side all the MOM votes went to the keeper and the back line. Neil Commons was composed and committed, with several good saves -a good performance. Across the back line James Rushton talked as well as ever and had another strong and influential game. Aryan Chhaya, at left back was the MOM, composed and secure with lovely touches and firmly resilient defence. Rory Willmott alongside James Rushton fought back well, tackled well and made crucial interventions. Rafi Rosenfield threatened Aryan for the MOM and also played fluidly with poise and no lack of energy – well done. Moving to midfield where the oppo were strong we also did well. Ali Priestley not taking a step back and working well, Simon (OZ) Bate, until the injury late on had a good game with strong possession. Will Hargrove, was under pressure in the middle but effected some good passes and held space. Alex Prior worked tirelessly and tackled back well whilst looking a threat in attack. Oliver Yaoz worked well down the left flank with Aryan and worked back much more in the second half. Our trio (for two spots) upfront worked hard. Greg Wildisen gave an outlet and played with skill and drive. Randall Hyer was a permanent nuisance to the opposition and was most effective. Felix Rushton had a strong game making good runs and holding the ball well.

This result leaves us even more resolutely mid table than we were before!