Match Report : Jo Price
Result: Southgate 2 – 3 Old Uxonians
This week we welcomed Old Ux’s for the graveyard shift of a 1630 PB. In contrast to last week’s opposition of young, fit students OU are team full of experience and play with determination and canniness on the ball. This was a good old-fashioned game of women’s hockey.
The 5’s, with a squad of 13 for the first time this season, started brightly using their combination of experience and youth to good advantage. For most of the first half hour this enabled us to keep the visitors pinned in their defensive half. Ten minutes in Kim, positioned well in front of goal, was on hand to smash a hard ball leaving the defender unable to prevent it hitting the backboard. Minutes later, a good combination by the forwards opened up a gap for Mon to tap in from short range. At this point it felt as if we could be in for a goal fest but their backline used all their experience to pack the goalmouth and Gate were unable to find a way through.
Ux’s were now warming to the task and, buoyed by their ability to thwart any further score, pressed forward to create chances of their own. They were rewarded when one of their forwards managed to ghost in behind our defence leaving our keeper Elle at the mercy of a close-range shot, and putting them right back in the game.
The second half provided a whole different ball game. Ux’s were now fully warmed up and on the front foot. With their coach shouting instructions from the sideline , they began striking the ball well and using their physicality to hustle their way through, enabling them to disrupt our rhythm and draw some players out of position. There was staunch play from our backline who were having to work extremely hard to cover and withstand the onslaught but eventually the opposition’s persistence paid off and they equalised with a pinpoint accurate strike from their reliable left forward.
The visitors now sensed they had a chance of achieving what had initially seemed an unlikely win. This was time for us to show composure, good positioning and close marking. Unfortunately, this was when overall experience really told and, with less than 10 minutes to go, OU seized their opportunity ,to break down the right and give themselves a clear shot at goal which they put away with aplomb. Despite our best efforts to drive forward and equalise we were unable to do so and the score finished at 2-3.
Undoubtedly, this was a disappointing result after such a promising start but we’ll learn from this defeat and take the positives , two goals a dominant first half and some strong performances . Thanks to Magda for your invaluable coaching tips. Next stop Eastcote away.