(match report by Neil Prior)
Won: 8-0 (HT 4-0)
Southgate Men’s 3s are likely to meet West Hampstead 2s in their new Great London League division next season, so a summer friendly seemed like a good idea.
West Hampstead turned up nice-and-early equipped with lots of cones and balls and boasted at least two coaches! They looked well organised. Southgate were more laid back in their pre-match approach and seemed less familiar with each other as regular team mates (many of the regular 3s players being cricketers at this time of year). However, a few minutes into the game it was clear that Southgate meant business and were passing the ball around with great fluency. Straightaway they were building really well from the back – Andy Richardson, Sam Marshall, Josh Chandler and Lucas Jaehnig all finding their midfield team mates Todd Lomas, Mike Collins, Rob Gill, Ben Berndes-Cade and Vivek Dongha (playing his first game at this level and looking comfortable on the ball) – with firm accurate passes to the open stick. Terrific movement in the front line from Mitch Read (ending with game with two goals both sharply taken reflex goals), Kabir Bowry (masterfully slotting his first Southgate hat trick), Lik (scoring a goal from what seemed like an impossible angle) and Harry Haynes (always a terrier down the right flank) allowed the midfielders to control the game and allowed West Hampstead very little.
So, 6 goals from the forward line plus other calmy finished team moves by Lomas and Gill made the total 8. Four in each half and not a whole lot for Veysel Demir to do between the Southgate sticks, but what he was called upon to do he did with aplomb. Charles Hamilton provided a choice cameo performance showing West Hampstead a turn of pace that would they would not have experienced in the South League.
With the Southgate 2s beating West Hampstead 1s by the same margin, the baton has been passed to the Men’s 4s and 5s for their double fixture against West Hampstead’s 3s and 4s respectively next Saturday.
Many thanks to Stephen Mason (SCHUA Umpire) who partnered me to officiate this pretty good natured game and who was outstanding in his decision-making and control of the game throughout.