Mens 5s give the balcony an exciting 4-1 win on the weekend!

December 9, 2021

Match Report : Alastair Whatley

Result : 4-1 WIN vs West Herts

The 5’s took to the field in a blockbuster 3pm prime slot on the water pitch to an appreciative balcony of hardened supporters. Coming off the back of a tough loss against West Hampstead the team were fired up for a big response in front of a home crowd.

Rory Willmott led an inspired group warm up which must have struck fear into the West Herts men as they observed our stick skills and athleticism at short hand. By push back we were all running a sweat and raring to go.

The whistle went, the spectators cheered and the 5’s went off like a rocket passing and tackling with intent from the first moments. Adam Shackleford was a very welcome addition back into the centre midfield who helped feed our hungry forward line. Duncan Trathen made his 5’s debut in some style in the left midfield role as he worked some canny channels linking very nicely with James Marriott and Arun Solanki in front and Brian Cade dominating as a collusion in the rear.

The 5’s soon forced a short corner and Ivan Stark stepped forth and somehow barrelled it in with elan to put the mighty 5’s up 1-0 within 10 minutes. Alastair Whatley then managed a rather splendid run down the right with thanks to a splendid ball from Nigel Knight and ended up reverse slapping a ball across the goal mouth to new recruit Trathen the senior who stopped, controlled and hammered the ball home making it 2-0 to cheers from the growing throng of home supporters who sniffed a ‘Gate scalp.

Matt Mitchell and Rory Willmott were kept quiet behind the lines but were distributing and pressing forward with great verve and precision one of which eventually found James Marriott who ran hard down the right onto the goal line whacking the ball across the goal face to Whatley who met said ball with decisive precision. 3-0. Up the Gate.

Half time came.

Everyone was happy. Victory was within our grasp.

Second half was a bit more cagey. West Herts pushed back and asked more of our back line who stood firm with Jon Dann our legendary goalie commanding as ever from his Goal mouth. Nothing passed through Willmott. For a long time. Until West Herts won a short and whacked a ball onto the right post which managed to escape our resident right back’s grasp and comb its way against the back line. 3-1.

The mighty fives pushed hard in reply and won numerous shorts without reward, ST was enjoying a flyer of a game with some fine link up play with his midfield and fellow forwards. James Marriott especially deserves a mention enjoying his best game to date for the team showing off some great skill and movement on the right.

Yet it came down to a final short corner when Rory Willmott decided in a stroke of great wisdom to inject the ball not to Ivan as he had suggested but instead in a last minute change of plan to Whatley who surprised himself by the change of plan- stopped said injected ball and collared it with a fiery whack into the bottom right to hollers and cheers sending gate 4-1 to the good and sealing the result.

In truth a fine team effort ST, Freddie, Duncan and Alastair all winning much sought after MOM nominations but it was James and Rory who shared the prize on the day with sterling performances at either end of the pitch.

DOD won’t be mentioned in this article.

Saturday sees us take on Indian Gymkhana in a 10am away (!!) push back. The Mighty Fives are primed for the task and will appear with no sign of a hangover for their 9am meet in West London.

Southgate Hockey Club. Great fun, great hockey, great facilities.