Ruben Straat brace electrifies game of two halves for the M3’s.

3-3 Vs West Hampstead 2’s
report by Todd Lomas

After a disappointing result in the away leg in the first half of the season and a run of form that suggested that the mighty threes were lessening in mightiness, the team were keen to hit West Hampstead hard and get the much needed 3 points. After an intense and focussed warmup, we started and from the very beginning West Hampstead (WH) pressed us in the way we knew they would, a full press on our left back. 

We struggled to roll the ball through midfield, issing our usual rocks Alex and Vivek, and this proved to put more pressure on the back line in the press. However, around the 5-minute mark, a beautifully worked passing passage worked its way up the pitch, from Jackson to Mike Gorgin, who used his pace and finesse to carry up along the shoulder of the D and reverse it across to the P spot where Todd Lomas was arriving, for a touch into the goal past the goalkeeper. A perfect team goal. 

Play continued to increase in quality, with Lucca Bilyard subbing into midfield, who bought control and a calming presence. Following an aerial from Aman, Ruben received the ball just over the half way line, touching it down and past his defender, and carried the ball up towards the shoulder of the D. With a drop of the shoulder and a slick drag from right to left, Ruben sold two defenders and created space to reverse it bottom corner near post, an absolute wonder goal.  

Unfortunately, there was a goal conceded in the first half. On a short corner, WH had a straight hit from the top which was deflected by a defender through Akshay in goal’s legs. However, shortly after this, we scored another, less glorious goal compared to the other two, with a loose ball pushed into the D by Jackson, swept at the keeper by the tall debutant and poked in from the rebound by none other than Ruben on his reverse. 

The second half went severely downhill. The Southgate Men’s 3s problem of carrying the ball too much caused a bit of trouble, with individual players trying to beat too many opposition players so we ended up losing possession most times we regained it. It wasn’t all bad, we did have a nicely won penalty flick, where Lucca first time hit the ball into the goal and the WH defender kept it out with an outstretched leg. Our hattrick hopeful stepped up with respectable confidence, however as it was in the last 2/3rds of the game and he had been playing most of it, the tiredness must’ve gotten to him and the flick was saved. 

Finally, after a piercing ball through our defence to their forward, Akshay decided to take the player out outside the D. As he won the ball first, but also murdered their player, a short corner was given, however after being kicked in the head, Akshay wasn’t quite with it and the short corner drag flick went through his legs.  

All in all, a disappointing result of 3-3. We need to be winning those games and discipline and quality was the problem in the second half, so hopefully against stronger teams we will face in coming weeks, this isn’t the case. Special thanks to Mike Gorgin for playing for us at short notice, good to have you back in the team, and our 3s debutant who had a cracking game.