Southgate Tavernas fire into last 32 in St Albans triumph

Southgate Tavernas vs St Albans mixed fixture Sunday 11th February

4-2 Win

Match Report by Archie The Shed Foster

The Tavernas came out of the gate aggressively as within 5 minutes the ball flashed across the St Albans goal. Striker Ella Duthie was sliding in for the deflection and narrowly missing the ball at the back post. St Albans responded with some silky play through the middle of the park forcing a poor challenge from Matthew Ramshaw, resulting in a 2 minute suspension and a short corner for the opposition. A fierce drag flick and an unfortunate deflection from Emma Postings saw St Albans edge into the lead, 0-1.

The Southgate support were out in full force and it took a rogue aerial hitting the clubhouse roof to silence mascot Simon on the sidelines. Coach Charlie Hamilton gave some wise words to The Shed following that misjudged pass. Shortly after, a schilling to schilling masterclass tied the game as Clarissa calmly deflected the ball into the bottom corner, 1-1. The cheers erupted from the crowd and Captain Alistair Whatley began riling his troops and driving the intensity.

Southgate were piling on the pressure but to no avail. A fast-break counter attack from St Albans led to a wild swing from Ella Duthie and an upgraded short corner. Shouts of “Thank you Justin” echoed around the ground. Good to see umpires being thanked for giving up their afternoons. St Albans were clinical once again and deflected the ball past a helpless VBL in goal, 1-2. The pressure became too much for Matt Ramshaw who resorted to a hecking bad challenge and gave umpire Mark no choice but to send the Southgate forward to the bench for 5 minutes for his 54th career yellow card. After a full 5 minutes of defending their goal the whistle blew for half time.

Half time: 1-2 to St Albans. The first set of 35minutes had come to a close and a frustrated Southgate team huddled to discuss tactics for the second half. Wise words from Coach Todd, Veteran Rob Schilling and, Captain Alistair Whatley ignited the hunger within the Tavernas as they stepped out onto the field for the second half.

Southgate resumed play ready to fight for victory. Various aerials from Robbie Gill and The Shed were raining down on the St Albans defence. Teague Marcano brought down an aerial from Robbie Robbie Gill and played the ball into Jess Hurley who carried forward and then returned the ball back to Teague tearing through the middle of the pitch who managed to place the ball on the foot of a retreating St Albans defender and win a corner for the home team. A sharp injection and trap set up a powerful Emma Postings slider which rattled the backboard and tied the game once again, 2-2.

St Albans were searching for a third goal and were putting the Southgate defence under tremendous pressure once again. A selection of calm saves from goalkeeper VBL kept the Tavernas in the game. Robbie Gill tactically knocked the ball into St Albans player who was impeding him whilst lying on the floor and regained possession for Southgate. Down the other end, Teague Marcano went on a blistering run following some top quality defending and distributing from Jenny Hammond. Teague slotted the ball past the St Albans keeper with ease and put Southgate in the lead for the first time in the game, 3-2.

More end-to-end hockey and a couple of rash challenges saw Teague receive a green card giving St Albans a one player advantage for the short period of time. Some silky passing led to a barrage of attacks on the Southgate defence which was defended strongly by a Lucca and Robbie partnership. Harry Haynes was causing all sorts of trouble for the St Albans defence but they managed to keep him at bay.

The game winner came from an unlikely individual as Southgate star Emma Postings fired the ball towards the goal from a short corner and Oliver Izzo deflected the ball past the outstretched St Albans keeper. Cheers erupted from the bench and the balcony to celebrate Izzo’s first goal since the U16’s Milton Keynes invitational tournament. What an occasion, 4-2.

The final whistle was blown and shouts of “Three cheers…” and “thank you Justin” erupted from the players. An exciting, fiery, end-to-end match up resulted in a 4-2 win for Southgate Tavernas.

Thank you umpires Mark and Justin and to St Albans for a brilliant Sunday fixture. It is Southgate that progress into the next round of the Mixed Cup competition.