Marcano goals keeps ‘Gate rocking and rolling in 2nd successive win

Match Report by Alastair Whatley

Back to back wins on Saturday and Sunday pushed John Sterlini and his side up into a top 6 position as they easily saw off the University of Nottingham in a finish that sometimes lacking polish nevertheless showed glimmers of real promise. The sun shone brightly to banish the memories of the rain that battered Trent Park 24 hours previously. Spectators shielded their eyes as the teams ran out behind umpires Twist and Charles to the roar of tech crowd and the music of DJ Wayne. Southgate coach Kwan Browne made a couple of changes to his team overnight with Simon Walker coming in for half back Ali Douglas who was flying out to join the EDP squad in Malaysia and Iain Gordon being called up to replace the injured Guilio Ferrini.

Jamie Butler in the Nottingham goal was immediately brought into action as he made a serious of saves at close range, this then followed a string of ‘Gate corners charged down by the students to good effect. The action went end-to-end in the opening moments before Rohan Bhuhi proved his class once again in a devastating run into the D which forced a penalty flick immediately awarded by Umpire Twist. Player/Coach Kwan Browne stepped up in his inimitable style as the live-stream commentator assured the viewers that KB7 had never missed a flick in England. Kwan had already scored 3 flicks this season yet as he flicked hard and left a steely silence met the clash of ball on post as Kwan returned to his defensive lines having missed his target by just inches. Butler roared his approval and the game continued, the commentator curse clearly the cause of this broken run of flicking form.

It was frenetic stuff throughout this first quarter with Nottingham under head coach James Bateman frustrating the ‘Gate forwards with Calnan, Marcano, Lum and Hamilton all going close. Ramshaw looking for his weekend hat-trick went closest with a strong flick fired top right and batted over the post by the Nottingham keeper. In the 22nd minute Bhuhi helped break the deadline with a beautifully timed run down the middle of the park after an aerial ball brought down from the Nottingham lines was charged down before being put perfectly onto the stick of Marcano on the back post like a preying mantis for what proved an easy finish.

Half time saw Southgate players clearly given some firm direction from the coaching staff as they started the second half with real ferocity of purpose. Wave after wave of attack battered the Nottingham defence who stoically held out. Middleton drove the D in the third minute down the left and weaved his way in between the gyrating defence before on a narrow angle flicking to goal ultimately well parried by Butler. Yet it took until the dying seconds of Q3 for a PC to finally get awarded and it was Marcano who drilled his way past the Nottingham runners hard, low and left to put ‘Gate 2 goals to the good and earning his brace and weekend hat-trick in the process.

The final quarter proved a riot of energy and colour from both sides (green for Rob Gill) but as the whistle blew it only took 37 seconds of complete Southgate possession to break the dam. Calnan getting the final word fed well by Sofat from outside the circle with a neat reverse flick from the P Spot flummoxing the keeper and giving the crowd a full throated reason to cheer from the balcony.

Two minutes later in the 57th minutes the students got themselves on the scoreboard with a flick from no.14 Louis Cuttle nutmegging Van Loggerenberg and runner Rob Gill to close the gap to 3-1. Yet Southgate upped the pace yet further and dominated the final breaths of the quarter in the 66th minute Nottingham alumnus Archie Foster now in ‘Gate colours found Ramshaw from deep within his half, Ramshaw picked the ball up left hand side of the circle and drove all the way round past a succession of Nottingham players to cut the ball into the circle for Sofat to unleash a first time forehand strike hard into the netting. 4-1. The dying seconds saw Kwan Browne top D for a final flick- a drag flick proving a more deadly poison than his earlier p-flick with a picture perfect drag lacing like an exquisite phantom thread high and left past Butler’s outstretched glove. 5-1 as the final whistle blew.

9 Southgate goals across 2 games over 48 hours and 6 points in the bag to send Southgate up the table into 6th.

A tougher challenge awaits this weekend as John Sterlini and his team head south to take on the Wombles in their first league meeting in almost a decade.