Match reports - December 13, 2008
Click here for this week's match photos
1st XI 3-2 Old Midwhitgiftians At last we have won a crunch game against an uncompromising Mid Whits side who were not going to take any prisoners. In fact some of their comments were quite laughable but we knew what to expect and were not disappointed.
In atrocious weather conditions but with the pitch playing the best I have played on at TD OMWs were off to a flyer scoring in the first minute with a shot that Trickster would have been disappointed at conceding. The next 20 minutes saw us play our best hockey of the match as we created a great deal down the right without being in total domination. Gavin finished off a move when Rory set him up and Knapp picked up a stray ball and had the simplest of tap ins to make it 2 -1 after 15 minutes.
Although we continued to press OMW also had their moments but Trickster atoned for his earlier lapse with a number of excellent saves mirrored by their keeper who dealy well with all that was thrown at him. There was a very genuine call for his to have received a yellow card on taking ball and man outside the D but the cards were saved for later when OMWs fabled disciplinary problems handed us the game. At the end of the first half OMWs had the better of the game but we always looked dangerous on the break.
We found ourselves under pressure during the opening exchanges of the second half and OMWs made it difficult for us to release the pressure, pressing us very well. We lacked the bite of Ed B who was indisposed when picking up a nasty finger injury as did Duffy who manfully struggled on. Thankfully the consummate professional Will Stephens was on hand to give us some back up following the postponement of the second's game so we had some defensive back up.
The game turned when OMWs picked up yet another 2 yellow cards to add to their seasons total with our converting a short when having the numerical advantage, Knapp forcing the ball home just inside the post. The key to our game was getting behind the oppo's defence on the right hand side and along the bye line and we should have made more of the 3 chances we created and once again looked dangerous on the break as OMWs were excellent coming forward but very suspect on the break. We then received our first yellow with Eds C chopping from behind and cue Will to wrap up the left hand side. A lifeline was handed to OMWs 7 minutes from the end as we gifted them a goal to set up a frantic last few minutes. Trickster again came to our rescue whilst we squandered a short corner 3 from time.
Rory then went off with a yellow for the last exchanges but our experience saw us take the ball into the corners and along the side lines drawing out a repertoire from a Kendo training session from a couple of their players and bearing in mind we were winning 3 -2 some extraordinarily crass comments. The last throw of the dice saw a crude tackle from Duffy and a short corner awarded against us but fittingly Cato made a superb tackle and we ran the ball out of defence to allow the clock to run down for the last few seconds.
Not a pretty result with the OMW's match report likely to give a different view and probably blaming it on the umpiring - something they did continuously as evidenced by the frequent advancement of 10 yards up the pitch at our free hits.
Second at Christmas and a point behind Wanderers so all to play for with OMWs close behind and Bank and HAC not far behind.
Ladies 0-1 Woking Another cold wet Saturday saw us playing Woking 2’s away. Woking came down from Prem last season and knew they would want to take three points from us to help their promotion campaign. The miserable weather and Christmas season hangovers were affecting our team motivation and we only had 11 players so knew we were in for a toughie. Lucy had donned the keepers pads for the day and we had a couple of midfielders stepping back into the defence. Even so we were up for the match and determined to give Woking a run for their money. The first half started pretty well with some end to end play, with us managing to play quite high and pressurise the Woking defence, winning our selves a shorty fairly early on in the first half but a good save by the Woking Keeper deflected Dora’s strike. Woking were a fit team and made us defend hard too, but with no real close calls for us and Lucy only really having to make one save in the first half. We did manage to get the ball into the back of the Woking goal following a free hit out side the circle and thought we had scored but our joy was short lived as we were not awarded a goal as we had failed
to get a touch on the ball in the circle and it had deflected off a Woking player to win us a long rather than a goal. A few Woking players were beginning to get riled and there was much appealing to the umpires by both the players and their coach, but it wasn’t getting them any where. The first half was pretty even and ended 0-0.
After a half time team huddle to try to keep our selves warm, sprints and determination was high. We were confident we could get something from this. However Woking came out and pretty much dominated most of the first 15 minutes. We defended well but couldn’t really seem to get the ball up our end. Woking's goal came after a spate of penalty corners which we bravely defended and narrowly avoided a penalty flick, with Lucy having to make some superb saves to keep us level, but eventually Woking converted from an excellent straight strike. We kept our heads up but once again it wasn’t to be our day. We managed to put Woking under a bit of pressure and managed with some slick play to get the ball back up their end into their circle but couldn’t quite get a finish on anything.
The score finished 1-0 to Woking and will see us enter the second half of the season in the bottom half of the table. We are more than capable of staying in this league we just need to find whatever is missing from our play at the moment. So ladies have a good break and come back refreshed after Christmas raedy to kick @rse the second part of the season! Thanks also to Goalie who umpired in the pouring rain! Jackie Waite
Veterans 2-0 Cheam I think 10.00 am home games suit the OC Vets. We had three subs, an umpire and 11 men on the pitch all huddled in the leaking stand watching the rain fall debating with the oppo whether we should flip a coin and go to the bar. After a little debate, it was felt that 10.30 am in the bar was even a little early for us so four volunteers were sent out to move the goal posts and take an early cold shower. Maybe John Beck ex of Cambridge United now of Histon FC had a thing there with a cold shower before the game because it works with us. Not that this will be part of the pre-match routine unless forced!
I don't think it stopped raining all day but at least the game was on and so all bar the aformentioned four stripped of and hit the pitch and after a little short-corner practice, the game started immediately.
Plenty of decent possession hockey was on show in the early exchanges with noteworthy efforts from the three musketeers on the right side, Dave, Miles and Jon who played amongst themselves for long periods while everone stopped and watched. With an average age over 55 the Cheam defence were soon under pressure and despite a few breakaway efforts from the Cheam attack, it wasn't long before Dave Burtles struck a sweet volley from 12 yards out and we were one up.
The Cheam strength is their attack but with Shanks and his boys in front of him , Matt and Andy Loades who seemed to vary regularly with both Andy Eve and Wade having a go at full back, the door remained shut. Numerous short corners were repelled by the valiant home guard keeping the score to 1-0 at the break which was taken under the shelter of the leaky stand.
It was agreed that we had to score a second goal early as letting the Cheam boys back in would have got their dander up. This was to be avoided as their attack has been known to rip us apart in the past. The second goal duly arrived via a short corner. I make this point because this is a rare noteworthy event for the Vets. No doubt the practice of hitting out and stopping pre game helped in dealing with these basic functions. The ball was stopped and slipped to Miles who drilled the ball home into the bottom corner.
The rest of the game was about keeping what we had although we were helped by the weather in that 2-0 down in the cold constantly poring rain feels a lot worse that 2-0 up. The final whistle brought relief as we had secured 3 points and we could go and have a hot shower and a beer. Special thanks should go to judge Stuart Sleeman for umpiring the whole game in that weather. Tommy Trinder