Match Report and Photos by Simon Parker
Southgate made the trip down to South West London on the back of two wins from the previous weekend, but also knowing there were still improvements to be made. Their opponents meanwhile were only one place above them in the table and definitely beatable.
During the warm up, it became apparent the bumpy Raynes Park School pitch would provide some home advantage, and so it proved as only two minutes had elapsed on the match clock before Wimbledon won their first penalty corner which was duly converted by Ed Horler. Worse was to follow, as only three minutes later Wimbledon doubled their advantage from another penalty corner, this time a well worked move was converted by Jack Turner. But they weren’t done yet and with only a further seven minutes having elasped, they got their third from Rhys Bradshaw. Was this a sign of things to come for the rest of the match? Certainly Southgate were happy to hear the quarter time whistle go.
As much as the first quarter was Wimbledon’s, Southgate awoke from their slumber and dominated the second quarter, their first goal coming from a Matt Ramshaw toma from the top of the circle to make the score 3-1. Five minutes later, Richmond Lum made it two, bringing down an aerial pass from Rohan Bhuhi in the circle, before turning to beat Ore Ogunlana in the Wimbledon goal with a clinical finish.
It was more of the same in the third quarter, but the ball just wouldn’t go in the goal for Southgate, with first Karan Sofat hitting the post, before Matt Ramshaw did the same from a penalty corner with Ogunlana well beaten.
Into the final quarter, could Southgate finally get the equaliser they were looking for? It wasn’t to be as Wimbledon could afford to sit back and play more on the counter with their forth goal coming from Euan Gilmour, and their fifth in the penultimate minute via a Sam Hoper penalty corner.
Southgate now face a tricky home match against Oxted, a win being vital if they are to keep in the hunt for a top six finish at the mid-season break and secure Premier Division hockey for next season.