A strong Tankards squad made the trek up to Stevenage and secured a 3-0 victory under the floodlights and in the rain. Across all areas of the pitch, Tankards were the better team: more organised, first to the ball, and with better fitness. On another day, with all the chances that were created, they could have racked up a dozen goals.
Neil Commons in goal was left as a spectator for much of the match, but never lost concentration on the couple of occasions where action was required. Across the back, Kieran Slorach, Randall Hyer, Tony Mastroddi and Luke Collier snuffed out every Stevenage counter attack, and provided the strong base from which to launch attacks. The rest of the squad operated almost as a front six, buzzing around the Stevanage 23, interchanging positions and dragging opponents out of position. Any of Nayan Bhundia, Zac Mistry, Olivier Yaoz, Simon Holmes, Peter Roughton, Aryan Chhaya, Chris Gerrard and a cameoing Barney Collier could have had several goals, so good were they all at creating opportunities for their teammates. As it was, many chances went begging and it was late on in the first half before the deadlock was broken – with Randall Hyer cleaning up after a series of penalty corners.
However dominant the Tankards were, while the match remained at 1-0, there was always the risk that Stevenage could get back into the game, and so a second goal was needed. Again, the chances kept coming through the second half with no reward, until Nayan Bhundia finished well from a tight angle after a strong run from Randall Hyer. 2-0, and things were looking more comfortable. Zac Mistry then had a couple of opportunities to score from a penalty flick (and in the process, identified an area to work on in training!), before he scored the goal that his overall performance deserved, after fine work from Luke Collier down the right.
A strong team performance meant that several players received nominations for man of the match, but it was Randall Hyer and Zac Mistry who shared the honours when all votes were tallied.