Match Report by Mark Thompsett
Winchmore Hill & Enfield 4-0 Southgate M7s
The M7s headed up to Winchmore Hill hoping for a better result than the reverse fixture at the start of the season, when a heavy loss was inflicted by the high-flying local rivals. The M7s are much improved since those early matches however, having strengthened the squad and established themselves as a team that can compete (and win) against any side in the division.
An unfamiliar back line was caught cold in the opening couple of minutes though, as Enfield raced into a two goal lead, picking up on some hesitancy in defence and exploiting their pace to make it count. Time for Southgate to concentrate and get a grip of the match, which they did. Anchored by Graeme Welch at the base of midfield, Southgate were able to dominate possession and territory for the rest of the half, with Luke Mather, Aidan Commons, Mark Mather, Chris Rouse and Michiel Van Soest seeing lots of the ball and feeding James Wood and Freddie Bachler whenever possible. The Winchmore Hill defence stood firm though, and increasingly resorted to crash balls as their only way out from the back. Half time came with Southgate pushing for the goal that would open the match up and Winchmore Hill needing the break.
The second half saw the clouds part, however facing the low sun didn’t seem to slow Southgate down, continuing as they ended the first half – dominating possession and territory. Chances were proving hard to come by though, and so the midfield were increasingly joined by Giles Weblin and debutant Rupen Taylor up the field, leaving Neil Murphy, Mark Thomsett and Neil Commons as the final line of defence. Winchmore Hill’s couldn’t get into the match, with their only route out seeming to be the crash ball or aerial thrown out of the sun. Winchmore Hill are at the top end of the division for a reason though: despite the pressure, they were still restricting Southgate to shots from the edge of the D and closing everything else out, while their forwards were left to hope that the Southgate defence failed to control one of the countless big hits that came their way. Unfortunately, in the final few minutes of the match, Winchmore Hill were able to wrap it up, two counter attacks taking the score to a flattering 4-0 that didn’t reflect the balance of play, but perhaps it did reflect the balance of chances created in the end.
MotM was Michiel Van Soest for a fine display of midfield attacking play that deserved a goal or assist, with other nominations for Neil Commons, Graeme Welch, Aidan Commons and Chris Rouse.