Wayne Garner, The sideline, Lea Valley Pitch 2, 1:53pm Saturday 14th January
With game 1 of the second half of the season, the M3s travelled to top of the table Crotsyx away at Lea Valley. After being beaten 4-0 at home due to a couple of our own mistakes we were very keen to not let history repeat itself.
As we arrived, we were greeted with the lovey sight of the M5s playing before us (even if they were starting 25 mins late), as ST led his men to go one goal up we went off to meet he rest of the boys. Without our captain Alex Gibson here this week those duties fell to Adam Shiret who led an inspiring team talk followed by let’s not give the ball to their centre forward this time speech- lucky for us Jack Upton wasn’t playing so that wasn’t likely to happen.
From minute 1 Southgate started in the most unusual fashion. With some lovely fast transferring we went from right back to left back to a lovely ball into Will wright in 3 passes who then caned a reverse straight in the bottom corner. 1-0 Gate
A quick thinking free hit from Will Biggins chucked a lovely ariel over the top of the Crostyx defence to an overlapping Lucca Bilyard to win a short corner off a foot. A goal and a corner in the first 5 mins – this was unheard of. A lovely deflection from Jackson Trathen from said corner put the M3s 2-0 up.
Southgate kept mounting the pressure, Lucas Jeahnig and Will Biggins controlling the game from the back. Adam, Guy and Jackson locking off the midfield giving Crostyx no option but to keep trying to moving the ball round the back. Eventually this pressure paid off as Will Wright nicks the ball off the Crosyx RB and drives into the D so score another excellently struck reverse. 3-0
Not to be out done with the reverse stick shooting, Leo Garner played ut down the left and as the ball got to the base line he strikes a thunderous reverse straight over the Gks shoulder into the top right corner- taking the old adage ‘when in the D put something on target’ to the extreme. Delirium from the Gate but none more than Leo’s Dad Wayne who runs down the side line shouting to Leo “Would you like some mash with that Banger”
Some mounting Crostyx pressure earned them a short corner. Southgate defended well but a long barrier on the goal line from Lucas gave them a Penalty Stroke which they converted past Veysel.
As we approached the goal for out half-time team talk, the heavens open and down came the rain. With speeches of composure/game management/calmness and give no chat ringing around the talk we set up for the second half. We expected Crostyx to come out of the block fast and they did. Full pressing our backline forcing us into giving the ball away and turning it over quickly. This mounting pressure led to a short corner to them. An excellent fist save from Veysel fell to a Crostyx player who slapped the ball in bottom corner. 4-2
A slight nervousness fell amount the Southgate players, we had blown leads before and there was a chance we could again. Crostyx pressed on but a calming composure started to build as we were keeping them at bay. With only 11 players we knew everyone had to do their part for us to get this win. Led by our front line of Joshim, Leo and Will we were resilient aside from a couple of moments of complaints to the umpire which nearly cost us but not for Lucas Will and Veysel keeping them at bay. With his most captain-y shout Adam got us back on track. A lovely couple of passes between Aman Adam Joshim played in lea darting into the D only to be wiped out by the oppo Gk. Penalty stroke for the gate. Lucas stepped u from the back and coolly slotted it away. 5-2 Final Score
This match report would be just without a couple honourable mentions. First to the M5s who stuck around to support us. Secondly to the supporters who travelled with the men’s 3s and finally to Ivan and Kabir who willed us on from minute 1 to minute 70.
Mom – Will Wright
Dod – Veysel/ whoever decided that I (Lucca) should be running 1 on corners