M8 ooze class in beguiling mix of youth and experience as they see of Stevenage with ease

Southgate M8s vs Stevenage 4 (East Div 8SW)

Match Report by Neil Prior

Result: 6-0 Win

The frost having claimed the 10:30 game, the conditions had improved sufficiently for umpires Colin Warne and Nick Hollett to start the 12 noon game on the water pitch between the Southgate M8s and Stevenage 4s promptly. Their whistle-blowing was faultless throughout and made for an entertaining East Div 8SW free-flowing game.

Designated as a “Development” team and boasting a remarkable age range, the M8s rotate their captain and this week we had the honour of Alex Christie join the team and take the captain’s armband. What was particularly heart-warming to see was that among his team was his own father – Martin Christie – who played his best game to date in a Southgate shirt. Alex was aided by similarly experienced youth in the form of David James and Sajiv Saha. This trio set the tone for a really good M8 team performance. Every player was played into the game, the tactic of keeping it simple, passing in squares and triangles, letting the ball do the work meant that Southgate were running rings round their opposition for much of the game.

The three first half goals were all from open play with the opener coming from Captain Christie after a good linking run with midfield work horses – Simon Holmes and Chris Rouse – and finished with a sublime shot from the top of the D. The second goal about five minutes later from the unorthodox reverse stick of Randall Hyer and it was Randall again that put Southgate 3-nil ahead at the break after some great movement on the left involving a masterful two-touch (stop and pass) from Brian Woolcott and a visionary pass by Kieran Slorach.

The second half was more of the same, with Robin Tullo, David James, Tony Mastroddi and Kieran Slorach at the back breaking down the Stevenage attacks with such aplomb that goalkeeper Nigel Dixon was left with very little to do. H was seen hugging the goal post in the second half to keep warm! His reward would come in the next game as he was called upon to play in goal for Old Cranleighans O60s vs Southgate Magnums – Nigel won both his games!

While the first half goals were from open play, the second half goals all came from penalty corners. Tony Mastroddi finding the net twice from his trademark looping flicks into the roof of the net and MS Patti going route one with a thunderous strike that made the backboard yelp in pain! So, 6-Nil to the good, with all players playing their part in a terrific team performance.

Thank you Alex, David and Sajiv for your flexibility in playing this game, thanks to Nigel for staying on and playing for OCs and huge thanks to Colin and Nick for your expert umpiring.”

Goals: Alex Christie (FG), Randall Hyer (2 x FG); Tony Mastroddi (2xPC); MS Patti (PC)