M7 show mettle in strong team performance against West Hampstead

2-1 Loss
Match Report by Neil Murphy

The M7’s has had a tricky inaugural season in the London League with stronger opposition and a rather narrower age range compared to our 14 to 60+ year olds. Nevertheless the hockey has been competitive, hugely enjoyable and against opponents who play in the right spirit.

This game against West Hampstead had all those ingredients and was undoubtedly one of our best performances of the season. The game ended with a hand shake from their captain and the comment “you don’t really deserve that scoreline, you were the better team for most of this match”. A good summary of quite a few of our games and, no surprises, it was another defeat for the Mighty 7s. A close run 2-1 defeat…..and we could have won it!

The oppo scored two short corners – one in each half – and had a goalie who played a blinder – on another day Antony would have scored two shorts himself and our forwards were thwarted by said keeper numerous times.

All this contributed to a great tussle and at times a rather feisty encounter but with ‘Gate serene, calm and in control from front to back, young to not so young.

This game also saw our youth contingent – Tom, James, Freddie and Aidan – all step up to the mark – they were skilful (as always), determined and resolute – their progress through the season has been huge and between them they caused the defence no end of trouble.

Aidan had the added bonus of scoring with 8 minutes to go. Not quite enough time for us to grab an equaliser but a well drilled shot from the edge of the D. This almost earned him enough votes for MVP but perhaps a Feynoord sweatshirt next week, Aidan, will help with the Dutch vote.

Our midfield of Laurence, Antony, Chris and Aidan controlled much of the match, winning lots of 50/50 balls and driving deep into the WH half. Peter, adding age and guile to the forwards, was always dangerous and came close more than once.

At the back, the West Hampstead attacks from open play were repelled efficiently and counter attacks swiftly launched. Goalie, Neil Commons, swept up behind when needed. Michiel, dropping into defence this week, had a brilliant game with some searing tackles that set the tone for this Southgate performance. Fin used the width on the right to great effect and Giles completely neutralised everything down the left like a latter day Graeme Souness…and their left winger eventually retreated to the safety of the bench.

So, two left to play – we have avoided relegation (!) but how high can we go…?

MOM Laurence Whyatt