(Report by Simon Parker)
Our final league match in the Y1 Championship saw the M1s head south of the river to take on Wimbledon, and despite having a weakened team through illness, injury and unavailability, we were still able to push them to the end although ultimately we ended up the wrong side of a 4-3 score line.
We travelled south with our smallest squad for some years, with thirteen making the trip, missing a number of regulars. We again made a slow start with Wimbledon quickly on top, however they were unable to take advantage of their early pressure and the first quarter ended scoreless. The second quarter started in a similar vein, but we slowly started to play our way into the match and slightly against the run of play won a penalty corner which Jonny Maunder duly converted to give Southgate the lead. The lead was short lived as Ben Arnold quickly equalised for Wimbledon and the half ended 1-1.
Wimbledon took the lead at the start of the second half through Eddie Way, but again the lead was short lived. Jack Middleton equalised for Southgate with a diving deflection from a Giulio Ferrini cross after a strong run up the right. Goals from Matt Brown and Rory Patterson then opened up a two goal advantage for Wimbledon as the Southgate legs began to tire, however the M1s didn’t roll over and weren’t done. John Sterlini won the ball on the edge of our circle and fired the ball up to the unmarked Sim Bird, who picked the ball up, drove into the circle drawing the Wimbledon keeper before unleashing his toma to find the back of the net.
A big shout to Rob Gill and Harry Haines making their M1 debut, they stepped up and put in great performances and weren’t overawed coming up against the likes of GB international Rhys Smith.
We now face Holcombe on Saturday in the 3rd/4th play off.