Match Report : Michelle Joubert
Result : LOSS 0-7 London Academicals 1
The ‘joy’ of arriving home post match on Saturday evening to realise Hockey had been a 7 hour door to door round trip extravaganza to South of the River, was certainly eased with the very much needed (and strong) home made Espresso Martinis some of us enjoyed pre Christmas Social, followed by some lovely tapas and a variety of fab, fun and festive Karaoke later that evening.
Before we could scrub up and enjoy the evening we had a somewhat disappointing and frustrating visit to Catford on Saturday afternoon. I guess the first thing those of you who were not with us would be asking is if the Womens 3rd team is in Div 2 NORTH, why on earth are we travelling SOUTH! We wish we knew the answer and having now all endured the trip and game, we wish our oppo all the best for the rest of their season to ensure their promotion into a league which means we won’t see a repeat of this trip and game again next season!
Our day started off well, public transport planning nailed by travel team Mim, Michelle, Cob and JRod, who arrived on time for meet (only to be beaten by Char Rogers) and had a festive journey of Christmas music along the way, likely annoying some very Grinch-like men on the train and perhaps making a very awkward lovers quarrel somewhat more awkward by the 3rd time we passed them (we got a little lost when we arrived in Catford) with cheesy Christmas songs blasting over the speaker!
Next on the memorable journey list would have to be the outstanding changing rooms we were politely offered when we walked into the only females changing rooms in the building and got quickly chased out of them by our oppo, who politely showed us to the corridor of horror which was the Mens Changing Room area and with that the smells and sights of Saturday football & rugby, some wee, some mud, some showering, some deep heat, if it is a smell you could associate with it, guaranteed we, and our poor U16s could smell it, and thankfully only briefly have seen any of it!
Right, sorry, back to the hockey! We finally all arrived, regrouped, got ready and had a quick team talk! Off we went for our warm up where we noticed a familiar face in the oppos warm up team! One of our very own had moved over or under (the river) to the dark side! Hopeful as we knew one of them it meant we had a competitive but friendly game ahead of us…. this was not to be….
Going into this game we always knew it would be tough, this team had yet to lose or draw a game, had already scored 51 goals this half of Christmas, and only conceded 5, before our game even pushed back!
The first 15/20 minutes of the game started off strong, we held our own and actually for a while thought we were really in this game! Then… something happened, it is hard to pin point where it all went wrong…. the oppo started to score more goals and with this started to become more angry, aggressive and well, mean, to both us and their own umpires, who in turn, perhaps not just from the oppos commentary themselves started to make some questionable calls.
I couldn’t remember the details of all 7 goals if I tried, and to be honest we would rather not! I know one of them came from an attacking long corner for us, Char passed the ball to Mim for her to take the free hit, umpires called it as already having been taken, we all stopped to clarify it had not yet been taken, they chose to disagree and the oppo grabbed the ball flew to the other side of the pitch and scored as we all still stood objecting on the other side of the half way line… so yes it was one of those games!
The team worked hard, except for me, I got a pretty damaging ball to the knee in a short corner not long after half time and opted out of any further injury and frustration for the remainder of the game, however I am so proud of the rest of the team for going out there and not giving up throughout the game!
Man of the Match went to JRod who never gave up and worked hard throughout in the midfield, closely followed by Enrica who bossed it in defense for us!
We finish the first half of the season in a respectable 5th place, just missing out on 4th where we have been sitting for the better part of the first season, we are looking forward to the break but also getting back out there and making up for some of our draws and losses of the first part of the season!
They were a horrible team to play against, I can only try to not go into too much detail, however multiple of our players mentioned, ironically to the opposition player that probably was the worst of them all, that “there is no need to behave this way, especially when you guys are winning and playing a good level of hockey!”
It is a real shame that their behavior over shadowed what could have been a learning experience for us in terms of a top of the league team, who played some great hockey together, instead we will take away from this game the players we don’t want to be, but the team we do want to play with!
We pride ourselves at Southgate on creating a Saturday hockey environment that is inclusive, welcoming, friendly and competitive for everyone that plays, and on days like this we have take-aways for us seasoned players but also our juniors we nurture through the ladies section, albeit not actual skill and game play ones but that of teamwork, decorum and manners, both on and off the pitch.
We look forward to our final game of the season against them at HOME, in our own changing rooms, with our own umpires and hopefully with a balcony of our own supporters, and in turn hopefully this can become a lesson to them on how to do Hockey right!
Here are some pictures to end this off on a lighter note of our W3s enjoying their journey home and evening at the Christmas social, where much fun was had by all!