M3As go back to basics to triumph over Blueharts 5s
After a couple of failed attempts at a fancy short corners 3As went the direct route with Ravi Chana scoring a hard, straight strike going through the keeper’s legs. A few half-chances missed and the first half ended 1-0 to Southgate. At half time positions were switched up a bit with Josh Chandler covering well in centre back and Matt Ellis operating from right back so that Southgate continued to control the game although finishing was a bit lacking. Until midway through the half that is when a ball into the D from Ravi deflected up off a defenders stick, falling nicely for James Atkinson to roll it into the corner: 2-0.
Some very good performances all round, with Ravi, Nigel Knight and Jackson Trathen controlling the midfield and Brian Cade distributing from the back well. Harry Grinham had a good attacking performance but it was James Atkinson that was man of the match award for his characteristic relentless running and creation of opportunities.
Tankards put five past Stevenage 4s
Tankards Y made the journey to Stevenage worthwhile by winning 5-1 against Stevenage M4s. It nearly didn’t happen as Duncan Trathen had to recover GK Nigel Dixon from the wrong pitch, but once the game started Freddie Trathen and Guy Garner combined well down the right, drawing the defence and leaving acres of space on the left. The forward line of Chris Rouse, James Findlay, Ollie Costelloe and Upkar Paik pressed and harried the Stevenage defence so that early on a short corner came and was slapped home by Wayne Garner into the bottom right corner. More chances fell to the away team but, guilty of trying to overcomplicate things, Tankards couldn’t get further ahead so the half finished 1-0. However, three or four would have been a fairer reflection of Southgate dominance.
Nevertheless, after the break it was Stevenage that scored first on the counter attack. “At 1-1, it could have turned into a game where it just wasn’t going to be our day,” said captain Justin Edwards, “but we recovered incredibly well and just resolved to up our game further. Goals followed in fairly quick succession, the next two from great short corner flicks taken by Will Hargrove.”
Stevenage had one further chance after this, again from a counter attack as Southgate were pressing high but this time Nigel produced a very fine save.
A further two goals followed from Ollie and James. Both were from super pieces of open play. And it was Ollie, for his best Tankards performance to date that clinched the man-of-the-match award. “Many thanks too to Chris Gerrard, who was under the weather and didn’t feel up to play in the end, for running the bench and organising our substitutions,” concluded Edwards. “Much appreciated.”