4As made it three wins on the bounce in a hard fought amuse bouche of a game that set the pulses racing ahead of the 1s return to Snakes Lane.
It was a tough, physical match against an aggressive and energetic team and pretty it certainly wasn’t, but it did show the fighting qualities of this young team as they won a game they might have lost earlier in the season.
The highlights were a gutsy first goal to take the lead halfway through the first period when Dan Spencer skilfully weaved his way through the defence before his shot looped up to be coolly finished by Felix Rushton at head height.
Bar equalised with an unstoppable strike right in the corner on the stroke of half time after Gate couldn’t quite clear the ball.
In an end to end second half it was the 4As who prevailed when Dan pounced on some loose defending, fed Felix, and the rest was poetry in motion as he turned his player and slotted home. The proud look on his dad’s face said it all…
Felix was MOTM and deservedly so but credit to the whole team for a gritty and resilient show.
In goal, Neil Commons was solid when called upon and called the defence superbly.
Steve Gwynne Jones didn’t miss a tackle all game, he was immense.
James Rushton did his superb customary interceptions throughout the game to hold the PB hordes at bay.
Aman Chhaya was immense. He ran Felix close for MOTM with a battling display – he was first class.
In MF Will Hargrove and Ali Priestley were a vital physical presence, giving as good as they got and ensuring the superior skills of the Gate team were allowed to play.
Antony Spencer was coolness personified, and was everywhere on the pitch shutting down attacks and linking play. He also made an incredible save from a flicked penalty corner.
Simon Holmes added much needed energy to the MF and ensured we never sat back. His fitness and running was crucial.
Aryan Chhaya was equally impressive. He added much to the attack while tracking the MF impressively. His was a vital performance.
Up front alongside Felix, Dan Spencer was great, constantly harrying the opposition and keeping the defence honest.
The third star of the performance with Felix and Aman was Kyle Shah. Always a positive presence with his running and stick skills, he linked play and provided a superb outlet. He was unlucky not to score from a well-worked corner.
Finally, the skipper did his usual. A few tackles, a few injections, the odd run and the now weekly mild injury. Possibly a little more grumpy than usual, but hopefully it helped secure the win!
After a poor run pre-Christmas, Gate have now climbed to 5th and hopefully some mid-table security. Next week will be a good test against high-flying St Alban’s . Once more unto the breach …