The M7s played their first home match in the London League, and came up against local rivals Winchmore Hill & Enfield. From the off, a large squad of 16 Southgate players had to work hard to stay level, and were pinned back behind their own 23 for much of the first half. Nigel Dixon, Neil Murphy, Mark Mather, Luke Mather, Leon Flack and Kieran Slorach all played their part across the defence in holding back the blue tide, but eventually the pressure told and mistakes came. 1-0, then 2-0 at half time. There were still positives to take at the break – Finn Batchelor and Peter Roughton were having a lot of success harrying the Winchmore Hill defence into mistakes, and it was hoped that this could bear fruit in the second half.
Unfortunately that didn’t come to pass. The opposition switched their most composed player into defence, reducing the opportunities for Southgate turnovers high up the pitch, and despite exerting more pressure in the second half through the good running of Michiel Van Soest, Chris Rouse, Aidan Commons, Tom Van Soest, Amar Johal, Freddie Bachler and Randall Hyer, it was Winchmore Hill & Enfield who extended their lead, to 3-0. Southgate still had plenty of the ball in the opposition half, but were coming up against a resolute defence. Eventually a couple of short corners followed, and from one of these, a smart combination between Michiel Van Soest and Aidan Commons saw the latter tuck away a tidy goal at the far post. 3-1, and Southgate needed to push on to try and get something from the match. The game became increasingly stretched, and from two quick counter attacks, Winchmore Hill wrapped up the match 5-1.
Everyone put in maximum effort, but MotM was Mark Mather, with a strong performance in defence, in particular his excellent distribution from 16s.