Oxo bids farewell with stirring win
Bob Dylan’s Neverending Tour has been on the road since the late 1980s, and it must seem to the 4th XI the current season has been nearly as long. With two matches still remaining it is likely to overlap with the early rounds of the summer leagues.
But Saturday’s 4-3 win over Surbiton marked the end of the career of Oxo as he leaves for Australian during the summer. Slightly worrying, given where he is heading to, is his opening line ...4th XI 4-3 Surbiton
Blimey it was hot.
The 4th team found themselves tasked with playing the recently promoted Surbiton on a hot and arid Saturday in Thames Ditton. As a kangaroo hopped by, and dingo climbed out of a nearby billabong the whistle went to start the game.
Surbiton were ‘strong’ to say the least and the OCs found themselves 2-0 down after 20mins. Their honouree captain Oxo had been slightly less than inspiring in centre forward. However, he showed himself to be a mastermind of tactical play as within moments of sacrificing himself to the bench Dom scored to put the OCs back in the running, and 2-1 at half time.
The first 25mins of the second half were a whirlwind of goals. First a goal from Bents, followed by one from Surbiton, then one from Ado brought the score to a tense 3-3. The OCs can be proud to have kept their heads at this point, especially in the searing heat. Lesser players would have lost it slightly.
Dressed as if he had just sailed back from the south of France an apparition in white and khaki appeared at the sideline throwing insults in all directions. Sporting a ‘hello sailor’ look rather than his usual ‘nurse harmer’ attire – Captain Harmer appeared at the sideline to offer ‘support’. Using ingenious reverse psychology, he ensured every OC player got a suitable sledging.
And then a breakthrough. Bents, apparently spurred on by the news there was an all girls hockey tournament taking place at Surbiton’s home ground (we should point out here it was an Under-10s event, but that might have been known by Bents already
), decided to finish things off. It was once again the old faithful of the fourth team – Howy, Trinder, Ado and Bents linking up to bring the score to 4-3.
Most of the attacking in the final 5 minutes was in the direction of Jonker, who had kindly offered to umpire the second half. For the author, after 6 years of playing for the OCs it was a shame to finish with toys thoroughly thrown out of prams. Although it was great to win. As the final whistle went, OCs took the win graciously – and with cake.
As the sun dropped below the burnt orange horizon, pints of fosters could be heard clinking in celebration of a fine season and a fine team.
Labels: 2009-10, 4th XI, Mark Oxbrough
Match report March 27 2010
The 1st XI gained the point needed to secure the league title, beating Andover 3-2 to give retiring captain Eds Copleston back-to-back promotions to end his tenure. The Ladies bade farewell to Vikki Mottram with a 7-0 drubbing of Tulse Hill & Dulwich, Vikki and Jax Waite both scoring hat-tricks, while the 2nd XI clinched their own league place with a spirited 4-2 win at Oxted. Only the 4th XI spoilt the party, going down 1-5 at Aldershot.1st XI 3-2 AndoverClick here for match photos
End of an era at TD with Eds possibly playing his final home game for the 1s and David Cresswell his last as coach before he cuts his Cranleigh links in readiness for the new challenge at Radley but a day that heralded another win and the securing of the league title. Southampton drew so we are now a huge 8 points ahead with a game to play. Eds said just after the break that we had to continue to win as others would drop points but none of could have envisaged Yateley and Southampton dropping so many so quickly.
Although not a vintage performance it was enough to excite Mani Kochar next year's coach watching us for the first time and we did just enough to see off a spirited challenge from struggling Andover. This time round their keeper did not produce the heroics that kept us at bay last game but equally we did not produce as many clear-cut chances. Andover did look dangerous on the break, which is how they caught us out twice in the first half, on each occasion to draw level.
We were a little depleted with Gavin looking and feeling very off colour, Cookiey seemingly unfit but at the 11th hour indicating he could have played and the Woods away in South Africa but still had enough to win the three points on offer. In the first half we were extremely disjointed, but from our first corner Knapp rolled home only for Andover to draw level when we were caught high up the pitch. Rory deflected home Eds off-target shot to put us 2-1 up, but before the break Andover scored the goal of the game finishing off a four-touch move that carved us open.
Having quite rightly been told by DC that we looked like a bunch of spoilt bickering school boys we played with greater patience in the second half, knocking the ball about and eventually scoring via a fierce CV shot from a right slip at our last short - the correct move that had been called ahead of our last three shorts in the first half. Although less troubled by the swift counter in the second period, Andover did have a couple of half chances at 2-2 albeit our squandering a series of chances.
A 10% increase in our fitness levels will more than likely increase our playing ability by 20% and provided we set out a clear plan and strategy from late June onwards we should be confident of being able to challenge the top teams in the league above next season.
Thank you David Cresswell for your coaching that has brought successive promotions but more importantly to Eds who seven years ago took over the captaincy as we slid down the leagues, wore his heart on his sleeve for those seven years and has been rewarded with skippering two promotion sides, and thus far an undefeated side in this season's campaign. A fitting end to his leadership will be to win the last game on April 10 v City of Portsmouth and be the first OC hockey skipper to lead a league side that remains unbeaten for the whole season. David KnappLadies 7-0 Tulse Hill & DulwichClick here for match photos
Although there was nothing at stake – we were guaranteed third place before the start – the side was as up for this game as any during the campaign, wanting to round off a superb season with a win as well as give Vikki Mottram, retiring from full-time hockey after two decades (sorry Viks) an appropriate send-off. And that they did, in some style.
Tulse Hill must have wondered what on earth was going on as they found themselves six down within 17 minutes, on the receiving end of some of the best passing hockey seen at TD all year. Jax Waite, pushed up front for the day, scored a hat-trick in four minutes, and either side of that Vikki signed off with a hat-trick of her own. Her third goal was so typical of the skills that had made her such an outstanding player, a mazy dribble that left defenders floundering and then a rifled shot past a bewildered keeper.
Tulse Hill, to their credit, kept fighting and as Goalie made constant changes – only one forced on him when Emma departed with blood flowing freely from what turned out to be a minuscule gash on her nose, another as punishment for Sarah Mann for one reverse flick too many! The defence held firm, Rosie Marriott as utterly commited as she has been all season – she has cuts, scars and black eyes that would leave Knapp wincing – and Helen Hawes determined if slightly hungover. But credit to Hels; with her husband and Zac sent away, she enjoyed a night on the tiles, a 2am fishfinger sandwich, a 4am wake-up having poured water all over herself and her bed, and yet she was still there before almost anyone.
In the second half we again dominated and could have added another dozen, but Tulse Hill’s keeper pulled off some good saves, Snoopy, Hels and Vikki fired wide from close range, and the only addition to the score came from the patched-up Emma, while Tux and May caused constant problems with their running. All in all, a delight to watch.
At the end a tearful Vikki was presented with flowers and was hugged into submission by team-mates. We have to hope her promise to play the odd game if needed will be utilised more than she has planned. She's simply too good to spend Saturdays at Tescos.
A final note. I have umpired close to half the girls’ games this season and I would like to say what a pleasure it always is to do so. Relegated last season, its was always going to be tough, but under Sarah and Goalie they have played some exquisite hockey, the occasional period of horrible stuff as well, but have always been cheerful and friendly, and their commitment to training and socialising puts the men to shame. All in all, they are a real credit to the club. Martin WilliamsonOxted 2-4 2nd XI
We finally cast aside any lingering threat of relegation with a spirited victory away at mid-table Oxted. Aside from the first five minutes in which our customary slow start saw us go one down, we actually turned in one our best performances of the campaign and ended up comfortable winners.
We went into the game with a brand new front line consisting of our youngest OC, 15-year-old Giles and Cooky (welcomed back with open arms from 1s duty), who gave us a real edge in attack. Cooky with a brace and Giles with a calmly taken penalty stroke. Our midfield was also bolstered thanks to new HR-and-recruitment-manager Tom Merry who brought in Tom Quy and the ginger Ferret. Ferret, although short of match fitness, was a clear asset, controlling much of the game either in central or the right side of midfield. He will be kicking himself for not getting on the score sheet himself after a couple of clear chances.
Thankfully we scored immediately after Oxted and were 2-1 up by the break in what was a fairly tight first half. The only other key incident to note in was an awesome hissy fit between myself and Selbs. I’m embarrassed, olive branch offered and accepted, we move on.
It was crucial to score the next goal after the break and we did after, dare I say it, a slickly-taken short corner, deflected in by Ferret. With confidence rising we started to play some pretty attractive stuff in parts and managed to pick up a fourth after a sweeping move through Cooky. To be honest if we had attacked more down the flanks we probably could have had a few more goals given their best defender was doing a fairly good job of blocking us off down the centre, but I am nit-picking. The more pressure we applied the more unstuck Oxted became and their frustration boiled over near the end with their key playmaker receiving his marching orders for sustained petulant chat. Tut tut.
We did concede towards the end which was unfortunate as we defended for the most part pretty well – especially when you factor in the nutter who was playing up front for the oppo – scary stuff I tell you. So once again well done to Jon Heard and the brothers Merry.
All in all a very good display, with our league status confirmed we must now start looking ahead to next season and what we need to do to be more competitive in this league. If we can hold on to some players and bring a few new faces in then I don’t see why we can be in the top half of the league next year.
Men of the match = ferret/giles/cookiey
Dicks – me for the hissy / Nick for getting sent off meaning Tom only got the 10 minutes under his belt. Chris PorterAldershot & Farnham 5-1 4th XI
An overcast day in Farnham saw the fourths struggle to find their groove. A tactical change saw Robin "usually central defense" Crumby moved to centre forward to mix things up a bit.
The first half saw the "Shots" score 2 well worked goals on the break. The second half saw injuries to Howard's ankle and Oxo's head (he hit himself in the forehead with the ball leaving a Harry POtteresque scar).
Three more goals on the break followed with only Dom managing to get a consolation goal for us. Not a great day for the fourths but all credit to a well disciplined opposition. We will contemplate our remaining fixtures whilst enjoying an easter egg or two over the break. Back to the defense for Mr Crumby ...
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 4th XI, David Knapp, Helen Hawes, Ladies XI, Rosie Marriott, Vikki Mottram
Match report March 13 2010
The 1st XI maintained their title push and gained promotion with a rousing 6-1 win over Southampton II. The Ladies cruised to a 2-0 win at Reigate, a result which does not reflect the one-sided nature of the game, and the 2nd XI gained a much-needed 2-1 win at Barnes. The 3rd XI fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw with Sanderstead, but the 4th XI went down 1-2 to second-place Sunbury. The Vets beat Tunbridge Wells 5-0.1st XI 6-1 Southampton II
Another emphatic win that, with Southampton 1st XI losing, guaranteed promotion and left us four points from winning the league with three games to go.
Welcome Norman, our fifth keeper of the season, only three left in the club who have not played - could just squeeze them all in.
The early exchanges saw us forcing the play and off our game but from midway in the first half until midway into the second we played some sublime hockey during which we scored six. Hunts opened the scoring from a short corner and Rory tapped home the second following an excellent strong run from Gavin down the left that set up the goal. Our purple patch came early in the second half with four well-worked goals from Cookiey, Gavin, CV and Knapp that put the game to bed. Even when Rory recedived a yellow we did not lose our way.
For the last 20 minutes we pressed forward but did not play quite the same clinical hockey we had been playing but still created enough chances to have had double figures. The Southampton keeper made a number of saves but some of will look back at the chances we had and will say that we should have done better. Souhampton scored a consolation at the death following some very good interchange of passes themselves. The 2s also won the crucial points as did the ladies so a good day all round at the top of the club.
Woking away next week who gave us a hard game last time round so nothing for granted until we have won the league. David KnappReigate 0-2 Ladies Barnes 1-2 2nd XI
In the battle to keep relegation at bay all our games have become ‘must wins’. Able to raise a strong team we fancied our chances and despite them scoring in the first five minutes (a good drag flick from their first short corner) we retained that confidence. This was built from a solid performance at the back where we were equal to everything that was thrown at us. Meanwhile Nick Lewis, Eds Copleston (on his return from mumps), and particularly Chris Porter looked dangerous on the break – injecting pace and linking well with everyone else. Andy Selby marked their play marker out of the game and proved an effective link. Up front Andy Farquhar and Nick Phillips were effective holding up the ball and we created a number of chances.
By half time we had drawn equal and looked comfortable, but we knew the next goal would be crucial. The second half we looked even more dominant and took advantage of one of their key men being sin-binned for raising his stick above his shoulder by taking the lead. We were denied taking a further lead by some excellent goal keeping and a great save on the line after we had lobbed their keeper. An uncharacteristic moment of panic in the dying moment lead to a short corner at the death but we held firm – Tom Merry managing to get to the striker before he had a chance to shoot and JP Davidson, who had an excellent game, shelled the ball of the pitch.
It was clear from our reaction how much this game meant to us. We are still not out of the woods – we are low on numbers next week but if we play with anything like the heart and indeed the skill we will once again stand a good chance of putting more space between us and the foot of the table. Our congratulations to the 1s on their promotion - a fine achievement, especially given their promotion last year too. Rob Merry3rd XI 3-3 Sanderstead
A very entertaining match where a draw was a fair result, and where we had to come from behind twice and survive the yellow carding of our keeper. We exchanged goals in the first half as both sides switched the ball around skilfully, but on the stroke of half time Nigel Hawes mistimed (or quite possibly knowing Nigel, timed) his slide and wiped out the Sanderstead forward. His grin said it all, but the yellow card was a minor punishment compared to what awaited him when he got home. The flick was converted, Jock was held responsible for not saving it, and we went into the break a goal down. Jock bizarrely explained he was less mobile as he had kneed himself in the face chasing a sheep the day before. No, we don’t know either.
We survived the five minutes until Nigel returned (and the ten minutes it took the Laurel and Hardy duo of Hawes and Vickers to exchange the kit) and then drew level when James Armitage, 30 tomorrow, rifled home a short corner. A moment to reflect on Armitage who alternated between the excellent and the excruciating. His goal was crisp, and there were the usual powerful runs and important tackles. There were also some dreadful passes – he got an assist for Sanderstead’s third when he gifted them the ball inside their own D from which they scored within 20 seconds as Armitage still lay on the ground berating himself. His highlight, however, was after his goal. From the restart, Sanderstead attacked and all 11 of our players crammed into the 25 to defend with their lives. Well, ten actually. Armitage was spotted on the opposition 25 posing for a photograph taken from the sideline by his fiancée.
After going 2-3 down we had our worst few minutes, clinical passing giving way to wild hitting. But we gradually rediscovered out touch and eventually our pressure paid off as the tireless Bruce, who is clearly powered by Duracel, bundled home the equaliser. A scrappy goal to beat the visitor’s keeper who had kept them in the hunt. We finished the stronger but the draw was just.Subruy 2-1 4th XI
The two foes lined up in the well groomed pastures just to the North of the Thames. The sun poked through the clouds just prior to combat - the omens were good and the smell of revenge pervaded the ranks. The Cranliegh army, swelled by the late arrival of a platoon of reservists, lined up with the advantage of sun at their backs. Lord Tucker laid out the strategy - there was also a healthy balance of trades and experience across the troops. Just before the first blows, there was much commotion and sabre rattling from the Sunbury ranks – they knew the importance of this clash to their entire Anglo campaign.
During the first salvos it became obvious that with sound tactics and application – ‘this was a battle that OC’s should win!’. The opening exchanges were frenetic, the OC infantry gained valuable territory, surging repeatedly at the heart of the Hampton ranks and almost breaking through the line several times. The Hampton defence continued to hold firm under great pressure, until, after some 20 minutes, the Hampton cavalry cleverly outflanked the OC masses, dealing a severe blow to the Cranleigh cause by almost wiping out the King’s special guard (1 – nil).
Cranleigh retreated, re-assembled and returned to the fray with continued hope, purpose and vigour, but still relying primarily on the energy and courage of their infantrymen. Once again OC made great territorial strides, but the threat of the Sunbury long-bow archers remained from afar. Half-way through the struggle OC delivered a vital blow, a well aimed volley of crOXObows, resulting in the Sunbury leader taking a bolt through the heart (1 – 1). The balance of power remained with Cranleigh through the rest of the day and the battle descended into a morass of blood and guts, but alas the determined foe just held their defensive structure.
Then - just as the sun was setting on the scene, another horse-backed Sunbury raiding party struck again at the beleaguered King’s guard. Sabres clashed and the King took a devastating fatal blow (2 – 1). The news spread quickly through the OC ranks and the retreat was sounded. The retreat minimised unnecessary casualties - Cranleigh re-grouped to assess the damage and re-fuel the unbowed, but weary troops. They would be back to fight another day! Nick JocelynVeterans 5-0 Tunbridge Wells
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI
Match report February 13 2010
A good week at the top end with the 1st remaining in a promotion spot after a 3-1 win over Epsom and the 2nd XI recording their first win of the year with a 3-0 victory over bottom side London Edwardians. The 3rd XI went down 0-3 at Epsom while the 4th XI paid dearly for a lack of a striker in losing 1-2 to Old Reigatians. The Vets drew 2-2 at St Albans.Epsom 1-3 1st XI
As expected a tough game against an uncompromising Epsom side whose results had in the main been excellent since Christmas other than a drubbing from Yateley last week. Their recent performances and that of today belied their league position and they should surely retain their place in the league come April.
Great to see a Hampshire umpire controlling our game with the 2009 Loveland most-improved umpire Susie Redshaw at the other end, an award richly deserved. We were at last able to make the presentation to Susie in the Epsom club house after the game.
Fair to say we were slow out of the blocks having had a languid warm-up. We missed Hunter in the centre of the pitch even though Ripley and Nick Wood caused all sorts of problems in the middle especially towards the end of the game. Danny was solid and ensured that no ball was given away. The initial exchanges went our way but Epsom had the best early chances with Coops making two top-drawer saves at 0-0 whilst we failed to put the Epsom keeper under any pressure. We were guilty of not shooting when perhaps we should have and not capitalising on the good positions in which we found ourselves. Winning shorts is something we failed to do and so nearing half time it was anyone's game as Epsom looked dangerous on the break with our trying to force the game to too great an extent.
As it was we won our first corner three minutes from the break and Eds with his best strike of the season drilled the ball home albeit the line man deflecting the ball into the roof. Epsom felt the initial strike was too high but the umpires disagreed. Rory and Cookiey were again buzzing around and their hard work was paying dividends as the half progressed. Nick Wood made a series of strong runs through the heart of the Epsom defence but we only had the one goal to show at half time. James Wood was solid at left half.
The half time team talk centred around being tight and playing commercially so it was disappointing to concede a well worked Epsom goal early in the second period when we went to sleep. From here on we battered the Epsom defence but could not find a way through. Their keeper made an excellent double save at one of our shorts with the line man casually taking another Eds rocket off the line. As the game progressed Rippers and Woody drove through the top of the 25 setting up good plays and we started to win a number of shorts. Some of the Epsom tackling became desperate as we stuck to our task and eventually from our sixth short Rippers was on hand to fire in a rebound that touched Knappy's stick on the way in. Wobble can count himself unlucky in last week's game after two pushes on our aging forward who had unceremoniously been dumped on the ground went unpunished but Knapp had the last laugh scoring the third when unpicking the Epson sweeper who dwelt too long on the ball with six minutes to go, making the game safe.
Great performances from Rory and Cookiey both of whom have showed real character in bouncing back from the disappointment of being dropped to the seconds before Christmas. As always Cato and CB were tight at the back with the two Woods mopping up all that came their way.
Three very important points with Yateley up next week at TD. A massive game for both sides and let us hope that we bag the three points on offer. David Knapp2nd XI 3-0 London EdwardiansThis week's match photos
It may not have been a connoisseurs’ delight – Bertie, who had travelled from Merton to stand alone in the freezing cold to assess the umpires certainly had views on the quality – but there will be no complaints at our first win in three months to end a run of seven straight losses. Pretty it might not have been, but London Edwardians could have few complaints in a match they rarely looked like getting back into after two goals midway through the first half has settled our nerves. We controlled the first half, dominated the second, but somehow failed to add more than one after the break, while the rare Eds’ breaks were superbly snuffed out by the assured Jon Heard. The season could hinge on matches against teams either side of us over the next fortnight.Epsom 3-0 3rd XI
Not wishing to use a cliche but it was definitely a game of two halves. In the first we turned up and looked really good everyone playing to their strengths and stroking the ball around nicely. Our new recruit Dan at left back put in a superb display (even if he did lower the average age of the team by a full two years). Unfortunately the 2nd half arrived, possibly our worst half of the season (mine definitely!!). This meant that our first-half 0-0 draw scenario (which should have been a better situation as we had plenty of opportunities), was changed into a 3-0 loss by the end. You will have to excuse me if I don't go into any greater detail. Hopefully next week we will get back our mojo and string together two good halves. Thanks go to Cooky for Umpiring for us. Nigel Hawes4th XI 1-2 Old Reigatians
A cold day at TD saw the game start with just 10 men - fortunately on both sides. Some solid play in the centre of the pitch from Howard saw us build towards the opposition’s D on several occasions in the first half. As we continued to push forward the ORs picked up on a few uncharacteristic errors at the back giving them two soft goals in the first half, against the run of play. Not very often is Robin Crumby beaten when left one on one at the back – all credit to the ORs’ forward (No. 9). That said we rallied and a Nick Jocelyn buried the ball after some scrabbling following a short corner two minutes before the break.
At the half time break we had the usual rousing team talk from Dom – “only two goals needed and we win the match”. Wise words – but only if we could capitalise on them with accurate shooting. We surged forward and dominated possession for most of the second half, but our finishing made the goal drought – one in two months - understandable. A disallowed goal from another short corner (too high) and a few missed chances went begging across the D in front of the goal. To be fair the ORs’ keeper had a good game and kept them firmly locked down at the back.
So the final whistle came and another defeat (1-2) – the goal drought must clear up soon, I just pity the team that finally plays us when the floodgates finally open. Post-match white chocolate and cranberry cookies baked by Grant Archer slightly lifted the frustration. Grant ArcherSt Albans 2-2 Veterans
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI
Match reports January 30 2010
A last-minute goal from David Knapp helped the 1st XI draw 4-4 at third-placed Southampton, a result which leaves us in second with a game in hand on leaders Yateley. The Ladies also maintained their promotion push with a 1-1 draw at home to Purley Walcountians, but it was another disappointing day for the 2nd XI who went down 1-4 to leaders HAC. The 3rd XI game at Leatherhead was called off minutes before the start because of frost, while the 4th XI beat Old Georgians 1-0, their first goal in seven weeks. The Vets drew 2-2 at Cheam. Southampton 1st XI 4-4 1st XI
Another tight game against Southampton but a result that is more use to us than for our hosts. Once again we could have come away with all three points, but so could Southampton.
Missing Rippers, DP played in the mid field role. We controlled the first 15 minutes without reward only to go one down against the run of play and having not made the most out of six short corners we had won before their first goal. For some reason our heads dropped a little and Southampton had their best spell of the first half in the ten minutes after they scored. We did however pull level when Johnny Hunter with his best drag-flick of the season scored.
We missed a couple of good chances in the second half and gave away a careless short corner which Southampton fortuitously squeezed home. At this point the game was going from end to end but we equalised with Danny's goal of the season and then took the lead when Cookiey slapped home a loose ball from the short from a tight angle which was an excellent finish. We then had a guilt edged chance to wrap up the game with 10 minutes to go but Knapp inexplicably put the ball wide when it was easier to score. Two more careless defensive errors gave Southhampton two more short corners that they converted, with the second of these and their fourth goal coming four minutes from the end.
We upped our game and with 30 seconds left, Knapp deflected home a short corner strike to give us a share of the points. Perhaps we were too anxious as we didn't play with the same control as last week but by not losing our destiny is still in our own hands. David KnappLadies XI 1-1 Purley Walcountians
With snow on the ground on waking up, I thought it might be back to a boring Saturday with no hockey but luckily we got the go-ahead to play on the incredibly hard, concrete-style, astro. Good thing we had the skill to control the bouncing balls.
The game started with some argie bargie and protestations on umpire decisions from the opposition, which Martin dealt with in true form and nipped in the bud early. We came out hard, having been pysched up by Goalie. We pressurised Purley and kept pushing up. They had a couple of breakthroughs in the first half which Julia dealt with like a pro. Our constant high work rate paid off near the end of the first half when Gadget caught Nicki's eye and made a sweet pass from just outside the D which Nicki picked up and cleanly executed to put us 1-0 up.
Unfortunately a slight lapse in concentration in the first minute of the second half meant they quickly equalised with a slickly-taken goal. Though we had a large measure of play and there were several opportunities, including a cracking shot from Snoops, we couldn't capitalise on our strong hold. The game finished 1-1.
...oh and we musn't forget that during this battle Gadget took a green card not just for our team but for the oppo too when Martin finally got fed up of everyone ignoring the 5 yard rule...Cheers Gadget!! Sarah Tucker2nd XI 1-4 HAC
Report to follow.4th XI 1-0 Old Georgians
The now-traditional post-match cakes failed to materialise (Nick Aston’s spluttering excuses failed to convince anyone) and although the game was played in glorious sunshine, the rock-hard surface made controlling the ball hard and neither side came to terms with the conditions. There were only three shots all match, all from us. One midway through the first half was well saved by the OG keeper, but the second prouced the only goal when a short-corner strike was only half saved and Atsushi was the quickest to the rebound. We defended solidly, Steve Harmer, in an unfamiliar position up front failed to make his usual impact, but in the end it didn’t matter as we took the points. The goal was our first since December 12, but since then we haven’t conceded one either. An interesting stat until you remember the cold snap meant this was only our second game since then.Cheam 2-2 Veterans
Report to follow.
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 4th XI, David Knapp, Ladies XI, Veterans, Vikki Mottram
Match reports January 23 2010
The 1st XI returned from the extended Christmas break with a 3-0 win over Wanderers to maintain the promotion chase, and the Ladies did likewise, a goal from Jax Waite 23 seconds from time helping them to a 3-2 win over Epsom. The 3rd XI went down 1-2 to Oxted in a tight game, while the 4th XI ground out a 0-0 draw at NPL. 1st XI 3-0 Wanderers
Without doubt our best all round performance of this and many years in a crucial game at the top. Wanderers have had the wood on us for three or so years but today we laid the ghost. We welcomed back Wobble and Mini C made his home debut in goal.
The most difficult decision of the day was the choice of Man of the Match with a number of candidates, Rippers eventually squeezing out good performances from Gavind, Danny and Cookiey, the latter showing what we missed against Andover before the break. My dick of the day award was decided on an off the pitch incident of some three weeks old but clearly now changes the voting criteria. Happy though to win 3-0 each week and win d of the d.
This result could however have been so different had Wanderers taken their chance in the fourth minute when it seemed easier to score than miss following a superb interchange of passes that cut us open. Indeed, we hardly touched the ball in the first five minutes but other than the one scare our defence was resolute and played with greater confidence than for a number of seasons. The games between us are always tight and hard fought and this was no exception with our two umpires blowing excellently throughout ensuring that a good game of hockey ensued. We began to dominate as the half went on and took the lead when Knapp was set up by Adair but we could not add to the one goal, not making the most of our corners. Wanderers pressed for the last five minutes of the half and won their one corner in the dying seconds but this was taken off the line.
The game was killed off by the 50th minute with two Hunter goals, the first from a powerful flick, well called by Eds and a tap in having again been set up by the impressive Adair. From our point of view it was crucial not to concede and this we did but should perhaps have added a fourth but we did squander a few chances. Cookiey was a thorn in the Wanderers side with his pace and Danny had his best game of the season so far. Wobble provided us with a get out at left half that we used well on a number of occasions.
Southampton next week so three more vital points at stake. David KnappEpsom 2-3 Ladies XI
As coach Andy Howell said afterwards, you need a bit of luck to go your way if you are to get promoted. That we won a hard-fought match with a goal from Jackie Waite in the final half minute might be vital at the end of the season, and it was certainly hard on a battling Epsom side who looked much better than bottom place. For the first quarter they were all over us, and deservedly went ahead, only for Vikki Mottram to level within 70 seconds. In the second half we gradually took more control and appeared to have broken Epsom's resistance when Katie put us ahead on 50 minutes, but within a minute Epsom were level, punishing some dreadful defending as we went to sleep. The draw appeared likely - we had chances, and on another day could have had two flicks - before Jackie's strike gave us the win.3rd XI 1-2 Oxted
A well-fought match against a good Oxted side well worth their second place in the table. For the first 25 minutes we were under the cosh, struggling against slick and quick passing. It was not overly surprising when we went a goal down on a quarter of an hour, but DOug MacKenzie levelled, against the run of play and after a run through a pourous defence, two minutes before the break. The second half was much more even, and we survived a yellow carding for the goalkeeper who inexplicably kicked the ball five yards outside his D - the sight of a helmeted Jock Vickers as kicking back was enough to persuade Oxted to keep away. Oxted regained the lead ten minutes from time and held on with few alarms, helped by our inability to get any shorts on target. A fair result but a decent performance.NPL 0-0 4th XI
Finally the snow has cleared and the second half of the season commenced for the 4th XI. A cold and damp morning was matched by equally drab surroundings for the game in Hounslow. Someone was even overheard referring to the grey concrete building next to the pitch as something that would not have looked out of place in Prisoner Cell Block H
The seasonal festivities seeming long ago as we pushed back against a well-disciplined NPL side. A change to our formation created plenty of space, however this was utilised by both sides. Neither side really challenged the goalkeepers in the first half, a few short corners went begging and one strike on goal was neatly swept away by their keeper led us in to half time with no score on the board.
The second half brought strong displays from Robin “The Wall” Crumby at centre back ably assisted by Nick Aston and Kevin Smith presenting a strong back line preventing many of the NPL Bees counter attacks. Then a sprawling Steve Harmer got unlucky in his positioning on the back of a short corner giving away a penalty flick! Nigel Smith chose the right way to dive and once the ball finally dribbled up to him he cleared it away (fortunately not the sharpest of P-Flicks ever taken).
The final minutes saw wave after wave of attacks fizzling out in the oppo’s D and many counter attacks being shut out by our strong defence. An short corner nearly broke the deadlock with Nick Jocelyn’s bullet-like strike hitting the post and rebounding, with the follow up from Jamal also hitting the same post and bouncing away.
So a 0-0 draw was probably a fair reflection on the game, with either side having looked capable of sneaking a goal - but neither actually managing to do so…
Post-match cakes were provided courtesy of Jamal – (Death by Chocolate) – and as this was as close as the team got to warming-down it may even prove to be the case!
Room for improvement all round for next week. Grant Archer
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 3rd XI, 4th XI, Jackie Joyce, Ladies XI
Match reports December 12 2009
The 1st XI slipped up against Andover in the last game of the year, drawing 2-2 but still reaching halfway unbeaten and at the top of the league. The Ladies also bounced back from last week’s loss with a 5-1 win at distant Tulse Hill & Dulwich to reignite their promotion campaign. The 2nd XI finished a miserable first half of the season with a 0-5 loss to Oxted, but the 4th XI beat Aldershot and Farnham 3-1.Andover 2-2 1st XI
Three months ago would we have settled for an unbeaten first half of the season with us topping the table? Yes, we would have. However our top position is possibly only until Southampton play their game in hand and by dropping two points today we have lost our cushion gained from the Wanderers results involving Southampton and OMWs. Two points certainly dropped but for the first time ever we reach Christmas unbeaten in the league, having won eight and drawn three. The league is still in our hands so at least we are not reliant on the other teams around us dropping points.
We could not have started better with a wonderful flowing move, a ball cracked in by Jonny H for Gavin to deflect home his 8th of the season. Criminally Andover were allowed to score an equaliser in minutes with what was an untidy goal from our perspective but all credit to a young Andover team who were not prepared to be rolled over. For the next 10 minutes the game became scrappy before we exerted some pressure, won a series of shorts and regained the lead when Rippers flicked home a well worked corner. From this point on we created chance after chance but the home keeper was in inspired form, saving well from Gavin and Knappy and dealing with the other six or seven corners we forced with ease.
Much of the same in the second half but even though we had 80% of the game Andover equalized scoring on the break with a swift interchange of passes that left James in goal stranded. Knapp and Adair again had vicious shots well saved and try as we might we could not force a way passed a resolute keeper. Another eight or more corners produced nowt, we lost out structure and for a period were guilty of trying to win the game as individuals instead of playing our usual fast passing game. Andover did look dangerous on the break when we over committed but we could and should have won.
Ten years ago we came down to Andover having won 10 out of 10, dominated from start to finish, came up against an inspired keeper and went away tail between our legs losing 4 - 3. At least this time we left Andover bloodied but unbeaten. Great defensive play from our hosts who fought hard and well when they could easily have rolled over. Yes, we missed a number of good chances and did not choose the right option in the D on occasions but we did play some top hockey and created a hatful of chances.
Not all doom and gloom with us still being the side to beat. David Knapp2nd XI 0-5 Oxted4th XI 3-1 Aldershot and FarnhamWarning - this report was written by the galloping medic, Steve Harmer
Friends, hockey players, country men, lend me your eyes!
In the words of Elton John, ‘the bitch, the bitch, the bitch is back, and stone cold sober as a matter of fact!’ That’s right, Harmer’s column returns this week to bring all its loyal readers, the best in social, political and hockey commentary. Go on, admit it, you have missed me!
It seems a life time ago since the start of the hockey season, when this column brought you the highlights of our season opener against the ladies team. From which a number of the 4th team concluded that we were going to be in for one hell of a trying season. The match was hard, laboured and as ugly as the off spring conceived from a one night stand between Wayne Rooney and Kerry Katona.
Thankfully dear reader, under the leadership of our carrot topped commander, Dom ‘Ginger Nuts’ Tucker. The ‘Mighty 4th Team’ have continued their Terry’s Chocolate Orange Revolution from last season and have charged up the league during October and November quicker than Simon Cowell sucking up to Cheryl Cole! ‘As we say in the Mighty 4TH team ‘The future is bright, the future is ginger (cake)’ and we have rarely found ourselves outside of the top four.
So this week, as you can imagine the pent up frustration from last week's match focused the squad’s minds ahead of our encounter against Aldershot and Farnham (A&F). In fact at one point we had so many players, the captain had to request one or two players step down. Thankfully Bish saw the light and realised that his wife might want him around to help move house this weekend, Crumby was dying from swine flu (we all know he ate too much cake as his son’s Starwars themed party last week!) and Adam found himself moved onto a different Surrey Police shift.
Unfortunately what brought most consternation, worry and fret between those chosen few that form the Mighty 4th Team squad was the injury to the OCHC club very own David Beckham. Steve ‘Golden Balls’ Harmer was scheduled to return after two weeks out due to his sponsor’s photo shoots in the Middle East and Caribbean. Alas due to an early morning automobile related incident outside of his South West London mansion on Tuesday, said Harmer found himself with an ankle injury. Due to a UK media injunction which came into effect on Friday night, the column cannot report on the details. However we can confirm that no fire hydrant was involved, Lady Harmer was not found holding a golf club over his body and there are absolutely no naked pictures of him with any blonde Las Vegas hostesses! Even with this considerable set back the Mighty 4th team were not worried as it was confirmed that Golden Balls would be on the touchline, prowling, gesticulating and directing like ‘Don’ Fabio Capello during an England international.
As the golden generation of players that form the Mighty 4th team assembled on the hallowed astro turf at Thames Ditton. We were joined by a number of lovely and charming ladies that form the core of the OC 4th’s WAGS, with special mention to Sarah who was attending her first hockey match ever after her engagement to Atsushi. The opposition brought two jail bait CHAV’s with them who spent most of the match smoking fags in the stands. Our WAGS were delighted to meet them, just as much as when they realised that winter had finally arrived, with the wind whipping across the playing fields making us all feel colder than a penguin’s chuff!
Complementing our existing squad players this week we were joined by the mercurial talents of James ‘Armo’ Armitage, Tommy ‘Gun’ Trinder and Howard ‘The’ Duck. Just like a fine wine, we had been well rested, decanted with care and ready to be enjoyed. Well apart from Nick Aston and Jamal that had been at Christmas parties the previous night and frankly smelt like mobile Stella Artois breweries!
The first half started with the Mighty 4TH team finding their feet in a busy midfield space however with the opposition only starting with 10 players we started to take advantage. Thankfully it was not long before some excellent passing between the midfield players down the left found the ball pinged across towards the right post with Howard finding the deft touch to put the ball round the stranded keeper.
At that point the flood gates should have opened however A&F held firm and somehow managed to snuff out all of our shots on goal. Credit has to go to their keeper who was a literal brick wall blocking multiple strikes from Jamal. As our frustration grew we started to lose our structure and concentration. This resulted in many of our midfield trying to dribble rather than pass their way up the pitch and not use the natural advantage of width.
In a rare counter attack by A&F, the ball evaded our backline (probably they were freezing cold due to lack of action) and somehow the ball ended up past Big Smith in goal. He was about as impressed as Mrs Tiger Woods reading the USA tabloid press. We managed to avoid any other disasters and came in at half time at 1 -1.
Reshuffling the pack at half time found Oxo returning to midfield, Atsushi finding a home at right back, Howard moving to central midfield with Tommy Trinder providing a wise head at right half. Smeer found space on the right wing and Nick J came into his own on the left touch line. Fabio would have been proud!
The second half was a lovely example of a full press by OC’s in the A&F half with the opposition rarely getting across the half way line. In fact, Grant Archer (at centre back) was so cold (as he had nothing to do) that he was signalling to his respective WAG to hand over her gloves. This request was met with a direct rebuff and Grant spent the last 30 minutes with his hand in his pockets.
Alas whatever we did, we just could not break down the A&F defence and slot one past the keeper. However as we maintained the constant pressure cracks began to appear with the opposition using more desperate tactics to prevent shots on target. On two occasions ‘Nurse Harmer’ was summoned from the sideline with a first aid kit and a bag of ice to attend to opposition players (we hope they recover soon).
To break the deadlock the OCHC touchline team decided to mix things up by subbing off Jamal, however he had one final magic trick up his sleeve before leaving the pitch and found himself at the top of the D in front of a charging keeper with space to shoot. He unleashed a strike with such power that if the A&F keeper had the temerity to get a body part in the way, then that limb would be removed with the ease of a hot knife going through butter. Alas the keeper did and nearly killed himself (I am not joking!) only to see Jamal pushing the rebound into the net.
From then on it was one way traffic with Oxo, Smeer, Armo, Howard and Tommy taking total control and all going close. At times the passing creativity and combinations of Stefano, Oxo and Nick J down the left were simply beautiful. Smeer went close several times before Nick J found the space to unleash a Louis Strover (supporting from the sidelines) type strike that flew past the keeper catching the top of the back board with a resounding crash.
At the final whistle, we had won the game 3 – 1 against a well drilled, motivated and competitive A&F side who we look forward to playing in the New Year. We celebrated after the match by feasting on homemade ‘White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Muffins’ by Lady Harmer and Chocolate Chip Cookie by Sarah (fiancé of Atsushi).
Muffin recipe below.
• 2 1/2 cups biscuit and baking mix
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
• 3/4 cup half-and-half
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Combine baking mix and sugar in a large bowl; stir in chocolate and nuts. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine half-and-half and remaining 3 ingredients; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
2. Spoon into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 400° for 11 to 12 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from pans immediately
On behalf of the team, many thanks to Martin for umpiring and all those that supported on the side line Strover (and family), Tom Pollard, Rob Jonker’s, Chris Bents and our lovely WAGS Sarah, Sarah, Amy and Stephanie.
A well worked win that lifts us back to 4th in the league behind the leading pack. Next week, our last game before Christmas away at Oxted which should keep all of us away from present shopping.
So dear readers, we have come to the end of this match report, it has been emotional!
So good night beautiful people (not you Armo), may your god bless and see you in 2010!
Harmer’s Column signing off. Tulse Hill & Dulwich 1-5 Ladies XI
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 4th XI, Ladies XI, Steve Harmer
Match reports December 5 2009
A wretched weekend with five defeats and only the 1st XI managing a win to keep themselves top of Surrey/Hampshire Division 2. The big disappointment came with the 2nd XI who squandered a two-goal lead with ten minutes remaining to go down 2-3 to Old Kingstonians. The Ladies' slipped down the table with a 1-2 loss to Surbiton, and there were also defeats for the 3rd, 4th and Veterans XIs1st XI 4-1 Woking
Another win although far from our best performance with Woking proving to be a far better side than their league position suggested.
Indeed, the game could have been completely different had Trickster not saved a penalty stroke at 0 - 0 although for Woking's perseverence we did have most of the play. Profligate in front of goal we were 2 up at half time with a crisp strike from Eds at our first short corner and a rare goal from Rippers who deflected home Woody's cross after his strong run in to the 25. For the first time for a while our short corner drill looked effective and no surprise there after the practice we put in last week.
Woking fell down by by passing their midfield with the continual crash ball out of the back with our having given Woking space and although both sides continually gave the ball away we did so less dangerously than Woking and really should have had 2 more goals before half time and Woking were the first to admit that they should have had 2 strokes awarded against them, one against Gavin and another for a foul on Eds.
Our worst patch followed the restart and Woking were unlucky not to pull one back when the umpire blew too quickly with a goal bound shot at their first short of the second half with the ball finding its way into the goal, awarding another short which we cleared and to rub insult into injury adding our third a few minutes later. A break down our left saw Knapp set up Gavin who tapped home with a suspicion that the ball had gone out of play in the build up.
One must admire Woking for throwing a number of quality youngsters into this game, with Chris and Sam Way in particular looking like players to watch out for in the future.
Hunter rounded off the scoring with a fierce drag flick, Woking deservedly scoring their goal in between times, our failing to clear our lines. This was a disappointment in Trickster's last game as a clean sheet would have been a fititng way for him to sign off for the Navy but a goal that did not stop him from winning the Man of the Match award. Best of luck Trickster and keep in touch.
One more game before the break v Andover, a team that have consistently caused us problems in the past, and another must win game. David KnappLadies 1-2 Surbiton
Unfortunately our run of success took a dive this weekend with defeat against Surbiton. They took an early lead while we were still sorting ourselves out. Then off a short corner Jax put a beautiful strike past the keeper drawing us level. In the second half Surbiton scored again with a great short corner. Although we were looking good and despite some good play and some great effort by all, we could not pull back to draw level ending the game one goal down. With one more game before Christmas the ladies are hoping to get back on track. Sarah MannOld Kingstonians 2-3 2nd XI
The build up to this game was less than ideal – we went through five different line ups in two days and as it was we then lost Bruce to food poisoning on the morning of the game. Eleven men to 6th placed OKs 13 men, and away from TD, was a tough ask. To compound matters Duffy managed to travel to the wrong ground and JP was involved in a five-car pile up just before the game.
However it was us who seized the first half. Rory scored early on, after a well worked move. We remained completely dominant for the rest of the half – dangerous in attack and very organised in defence. We zipped it round the back at will – Duffy was particularly impressive and Rory’s pace up front was what we have missed so much in the last two games. Should they have had a yellow for some deliberate breaking up of the game – probably. Should we have scored more than one goal – definitely.
However, having played probably the best hockey of the season we weren’t unduly worried at half time. Whilst we weren’t quite as dominant in the second half we scored again fairly early on in the second half. One for the press – Oks transferred it round the back but then left it by their goal and Rory ran in and pushed it in.
Possibly the turning point of the game came when yet again another very poor challenge ended with just a free hit, but Rory probably overacted and the game became unnecessarily edgy. With less than 10 minutes, and two goals clear, we completely lost our composure. Some daft mistakes, a poor challenge by Jimbo (resulting in a yellow card and a short) led to us conceding three goals (all from shorts, for the record we scored none from at least 10) and losing a game we should have won.
At the end of the season let us hope that these three points aren’t the difference... 5th placed Oxted next week. Rob Merry3rd XI 0-2 Old Kingstonians
After five matches unbeaten we went down by two goals ... and as Nigel won't comment on any games where we don't win by at least six goals, nothing this week.Old Reigatians 1-5 4th XI
As the 4th team slowly gathered at a cold and damp St Bedes School in Reigate it soon became evident that we were low on numbers. Unfortunately whilst managing to get 11 players there just in time for pushback, with a twelfth man / umpire still on his way, we started on a gentleman's agreement with the opposition to provide a second umpire as soon as the 12th man arrived.
After 5 minutes of play and still no sign of our twelfth man the opposition asked for us to stop play and provide an umpire from our existing team thus taking us down to 10 men... Immediately putting us on the back foot we rallied round and battled on eventually conceding a goal but valliantly gaining one back to level 1-1 at half time.
Alas our twelfth man still failed to materialise and the prospect of a full match at 10 men was sadly realised. Fitness and structure failing us Reigate, on a confidence high, put together some well worked passing exposing our defiicit in players. They continued to slot home four more goals during the second half. It has to be said that one of their goals was truely first-class (if a little lucky) screaming in to the back of our net.
Whilst a shame to lose the game, the manner of the defeat was the most dissapointing. Whilst we can not be entirely be blameless, as our heads dropped and tensions rose, the attitude and behaviour from some of the more senior members of the opposition was unfortunate - particularly as they are supposed to be mentors and role models to their clearly very able and talented youngsters. We hope next time we can all just get on with the hockey...
The high point came on the final whistle with both carrot cake from Smeer and tales from Robin Crumby of Crumby Junior's looming Star Wars-themed 7th birthday party (to be honest after losing at hockey we all fancied playing pin the X-wing on the Death Star). Grant ArcherTunbridge Wells 8-0 Veterans
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 4th XI, Ladies XI
Match reports November 28 2009
The 1st XI remained top of Surrey/Hants 2 with a 4-1 win over Southampton’s second side , but the result of the day came at Battersea where the Ladies beat runaway leaders Spencer 3-1 to move third. Results elsewhere were not so good. The 2nd XI slid back into relegation trouble with a 2-4 loss at home to Barnes, the 3rd XI’s six-match unbeaten run ended 1-3 at Sanderstead, the 4th XI went down 0-1 at home to Sunbury, and the Vets lost 1-3 to Wimbledon..Click here for this week's match photosSouthampton II 1-4 1st XI
A hard fought and not pretty win with our coming up against a stubborn Southampton 2s who wanted to do their 1s a favour.
We knew we would have to be patient against a defensively minded Southampton by playing the ball around and building slowly. However it took a goal against the run of play to spur us into action with the home side taking the lead following a poor tackle from CV, a short and our usual defensive frailties in conceding a goal that should never have been let in.
Five minutes later we drew level with Rippers setting up Knapp and from then on it was a matter of when rather than if. Down to nine men for the last five of the first half we failed to capitalise, the home keeper saving well a couple of times but our six short corners coming to nought. We really do have to work on these.
The second corner of the second did bring our second, Knapp sniffing off the keeper at the fourth attempt prompting Hunter to question if age had caught up with him at last. This prompted Southampton to change tack and come out of their defensive mind set and we benefited with the greater space, Cookiey this time picking the ball off the keepers pads and popping the ball home. A later short was walloped home by Eds to make the score 4-1 but two from 12 corners is a poor return.
Cato won man of the match for a solid performance at the back although Rippers had his best game of the season and arguably had more telling touches and effect on the game in central midfield.
Wanderers beat Southampton and so tightens matters at the top with our having dropped four points, Southampton and Wanderers five. Two games to go before the break and six points required.Spender 1-3 Ladies XI
This week saw us come head to head with the current league leaders, Spencer, and it can safely be said there were a few pre-match nerves about this one. However, after a few encouraging pre-match words from Goalie and some great team spirit, the ladies were set for leaving the pitch with nothing less than three points.
As in any match, it took a few minutes to settle into the game but we had soon got to grips with the opposition's playing style and were quick to get up in the D and get a few shots on goal. A cheeky flick in the back of the net from Sarah Mann put us 1-0 up. Spencer, looking slightly uneased by this early goal, soon realised this match wasn't going to be a walk in the park for them. The remainder of the first half saw some great one - twos and brilliant defending. However, a lucky straight strike from the top of the D by a Spencer forward saw the score hit 1-1 by the half time whistle.
The second half was a different story altogether. From the whistle, we were looking more confident than ever and as a result, did a fantastic job of putting training into practice. In defence, no Spencer player was left unmarked causing them to make rush moves, resulting in nothing more than giving us a few more sixteens. Making the most of these, the ball was soon up in the opposing D and some fanstastic textbook moves from the the mids and forwards saw us get two more brilliant goals from Jax and Vikki. All in all, it was a great effort all round which resulted in a well deserved win! Lucy Bevin2nd XI 2-4 BarnesClick here for this week's match photos
With a strong side (albeit with a number of new faces, and completely different from the week before) we were confident in beating a Barnes team who sat immediately below us in the league before the game. We were once again dealt a blow in the build up to the game losing Cookiey, called up after taking his opportunity to shine for the 1s the previous week, and Heardy to another 1s injury.
We started brightly enough, creating some early pressure in their d. However they were already proving dangerous on the break and we conceded first. This pressed us into action and a well worked move down the left left Porter unmarked on the left post to slot home for our first. We conceded another at the break, demonstrating an alarming tendency to miss repeated tackles, allowing their strong midfield to flood through. Once again our inability to hold the ball up front was the other main cause of our demise.
The second half continued in much the same vain. Repeated deliberate fouling in the middle third of the pitch by them effectively broke our flow and went unpunished by the umpires, in fact seemingly obvious decisions actually went against us. Bizarrely we were the first side to get a yellow, Will Stephens was the unfortunate recipient. Finally three quarters of an hour late they got a yellow for yet another shocking challenge. By then it was too late and the 4 goals we conceded could have been more were it not for some fine last ditch tackling (JP Davidson in particular) and some good saves by Paul Watson (on his debut). We finally got one back with a scrappy goal finally put away by James Bents.
We are now in 10th place and we have Old Kingstonians (5th) and Oxted (6th) before Christmas. In fairness Barnes were one of the better sides we have played so far, but in truth we were poor. We must build on short passages of great hockey (both in attack and defence) that we have been able to put together in small parts of games. A regular side that doesn’t change every week and a genuine striker would be very useful in developing this consistency. Rob MerrySanderstead 3-1 3rd XI
It’s really not a great mix for a Saturday afternoon, not only were we playing at one of the bleakest grounds possible where I swear it is 5 degrees colder than any where else. Then the afternoon was made complete by being greeted by everyones favourite umpire and also our favourite forward who it looked like had dropped down to the 3rd’s just for our pleasure. Nevertheless these two favourites were on surprisingly pleasant form especially the latter who seemed to have turned over a new leaf of serene calm. We didn’t need this pair to ruin our afternoon despite holding out until halftime at 0-0 we determined to throw it all away in the 2nd half. When Chris was taken off to hospital having head butted a stick we seemed to lose the urge to play. It was only when he had gone 3-0 down to three well taken goals by Sanderstead that we suddenly realised that we had actually come to the beautiful town of Croydon to play hockey. Although we pulled back one goal, through what was probably our only flowing move, with Andy slotting home from some great play by Stuey. There really wasn’t a great deal else to write home about. The only thing that we could take from this was that we really need to get ourselves back together for next week and also thankfully this was the only match in Croydon for the season. All our best goes to Chris who we can report spent a nice time (3Hours) in the joys of Maygay Hospital (reportedly a scary place at the best of times) and now sports a scar that would make Harry Potter pretty jealous. Nigel Hawes4th XI 0-1 Sunbury
Report to followVets 1-3 Wimbledon
Report to follow
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI, David Knapp, Ladies XI
Match reports November 21 2009
The 1st XI remained top of Surrey/Hants 2 with a stop-start 4-3 win over Southampton Uni, but the 2nd XI went down 1-4 at Merton. The 3rd XI romped to an 11-0 win over Surrey Old Boys and the 4th XI won at Addiscombe by the only goal of the day. Despite the 3rd XI’s goalfest, the performance of the week came from the Ladies who played some sublime hockey in a 3-0 win over Reigate. The Vets went down 1-4 at Oxted.Chris Valentine fires the 1st XI into the lead against the studentsClick here
for this week's match photos1st XI 4-3 Southampton Uni
A cracking game and all credit to Southampton Uni for making it such an entertaining match.
We knew it was going to be a tough one and that the league table did not prove to be an accurate indication of the University's ability.
The early exchanges went in our favour even though we did not create as many chances as we should have with our failing to capitalise on the territorial advantage that we had. However we did take the lead following a good save by the Uni keeper saw the ball come out to CV who just squeezed the ball home for us to take the initiative. The advantage lasted two minutes when the Uni countered and caught us on the break with sloppy marking allowing an unchallenged run into the circle with the resultant cross deflected home on the near post.
Cookiey restored our advantage clipping home the ball after a good move set him up and so it remained until half time following Trickster making a number of good saves.
At this point we should have made our experience count but instead we played ping pong with the vibrant Uni side and were pulled back conceding a well worked short corner 10 minutes into the second half. As the half progressed we did put the oppo's defence under pressure but were thwarted by a super performance by the Uni keeper and our not making the most of the chances we created. Hunter restored our lead with a flicked short but a minute later we were undone by a carbon copy of the second goal with 10 minutes to go. Our short corners were dire in comparison with the Unis that was well drilled.
Marshalled by their skipper at centre half who was outstanding and certainly the man of ther match Southampton looked dangerous each time they broke and at that point the game could have gone either way but as it was a liong aerial from Wobble enabled Rory to dart into the D and finish well with five to go. We held on to run out winners and gain three valuable points in what may prove to be a vital win.
As with all Uni sides they will improve as the season goes on so the next match in March is eagerly awaited. David KnappLadies XI 3-0 Reigate
The Ladies will win games by bigger margins but rarely will they play better. The result against a side level with us in the table was pleasing and the victory was never really in doubt, but the slick passing play, rock-solid defence and two sublime goals will take some bettering.
We were one up in five minutes with a quite superb goal, starting in our own 23 and finishing second later with a cracking strike from May after some lightning-fast one-touch passing. We continued to press hard but the second didn’t come until six minutes into the second half when May tucked home a poorly-defended short corner, and Anna notched a third midway through the half which was almost as good as the first.
It’s almost invidious to single out individuals from such a great display, but Rosie Marriott was quite outstanding, her tackling and distribution almost faultless. Vikki Mottram, who has had a new lease of life since the arrival of Diesel, was also tireless in her running at the opposition, causing no end of panic even if her tackling remains interesting.
The parenting award goes to Helen Hawes who set a fine example to young Zac with a bout of toddler-tantrum stick lobbing when green carded and followed with an “oh f*** there’s no-one there” when she swept a pass from the halfway line towards her own defence only to find nobody keeping Julia company in her own half. In between she was as solid as ever.Merton 4-1 2nd XI
Report to followThe 3rd XI after their romp3rd XI 11-0 Surrey OBs
There are some weeks when the match report pretty much writes itself even though the events were too many for me to be able to remember the sequence I at least have a record. The day started with confusion all over the place with regard to umpires - we had had three potentials laid on the night before but as SOB had stated that they had an umpire we had stood down our two spares. Unfortunately then SOB’s day did not start well as they actually turned up with 10 players and no umpire. Thankfully the umpire for the next match was good enough to stand in for them and they at least didn’t play with nine.
This was not to say that their day was going to improve at any time soon. We were looking to extend a five-match unbeaten run and had recently played so well but without our just desserts and were hungry to grab the advantage and make hay whilst the sun was shining (yes it did appear for five minutes!!). The game started at an unusually frenetic pace and there was some brilliant passing hockey being played with good runs off the ball being made all over the park.
Very soon we were 1-0 up and this was the way that the 1st half was going to progress. During the course of one of the best 1st half displays that I have ever had the pleasure to witness ( being in goal I had plenty of time to watch, especially seeing as I did not touch the ball in the whole half). After an extreme pummelling of SOB we went into halftime at 8-0 up. As you can imagine our halftime talk was mainly about just keep up the good work and let’s not let them score etc, etc. all I asked was that I wanted my team to ensure that I didn’t touch the ball in the 2nd half either. SOB’s halftime talk seemed to be a touch different as I don’t think I have ever heard quite so much grunting, growling and hyping up from an opposition goal in my life.
With us providing SOB’s umpire for the 2nd half we didn’t seem to get anywhere for the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half maybe all of the grunting had worked at half time. It must have been this as it definitely wasn’t because we were missing Armo who was umpiring for 15 minutes. SOB’s did seem to be attacking better and I have to say I was very disappointed in my defence in that I had to touch the ball once in the 2nd half during SOB’s only short corner of the match. Nevertheless we finally got going and managed to put another three goal past them before the end.
The goalscorers during the match (as I said I have no idea what order??) Preston 4 (a great return to prolific goalscoring), Doug 2 (a nifty display from centre Mid), Andy (a great first half and supplier of a number of assists), Ross (solid solo effort with a sweet strike just inside the D), Ed (This is becoming a habit from the new boy), Chris (OMG we can’t believe that he has finally scored – the time taken must attract fines of some sort at the next team drinks) and finally Armo (who now owes Chris drinks and also how do I keep scoring when I should be in defence?).
As I have already covered the goalscorers may I also commend the others who played their part in our epic pummelling Stuey, Tim, CD and Rich (our rocks in defence i.e. a defence which has pretty much stopped conceding goals ); Tissy (with this type of trouncing I can’t believe he didn’t score or get carded) This now put us up to third in the league and only one point off second. With the top two playing each other next Saturday … watch this space! Nigel HawesAddiscombe 0-1 4th XI
There were a few team members (esp. Crumby),who were worried about interacting with the Croydon population, so it seemed a poor omen when during our warm up Steve (bless him) asked one of the Addiscombe players to “flash us your top”, then proceeded to carry out some dynamic stretching that didn’t help our manly image (“ponsy” was a comment I heard!).
This aside the match started well, with us forcing five short corners. Nick J managed to convert one of these which was fortunate as this was the only score in the match.
The rest of the time, although there was good build up work, we couldn’t get the final shot lined up or on target. I think Dom was stunned when an Addiscombe 16 hit went across their goal to his stick. His shot on goal was stifled by the onrushing keeper. Dom’s excuse .. “He was so big!”
Addiscombe didn’t put us under sustained pressure, but always looked able to snatch a late opportunist score. So all in all a deserved win but hard fought – we must get the free hit rule clear as many good positions were lost through technical infringements.
Cakes were an issue for me as after dismissing my wife’s help, I made brownies without eggs!! – Flat and sticky. So, ever resourceful, it was down to Waitrose for additional backup. Strangely the team seemed to tuck in to the lot without a care. Anyway after an increasingly high set bar for the cakes there has to be a downturn at sometime.
To Crumby’s and others relief we managed to finish before it got dark and it was back onto the tram (?) before the vampires rose. Kevin Smith
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 4th XI, Chris Valentine, Helen Hawes, Ladies XI, Rosie Marriott, Vikki Mottram
Match reports November 14 2009
The 1st XI moved top of the Surrey/Hants Regional 2 with a 3-1 win over London Wayfarers, while 2nd XI eased their relegation worries with a 6-0 win over Wanderers, all goals coming in the second half. The 4th XI beat Surrey University 3-0, while the 3rd XI fought out a 0-0 draw against UCL Academicals. The Ladies went down 0-1 at Wimbledon, while the Vets also drew 0-0.Cookie slots home the 2nd XI's sixthClick here
for this week's match photosLondon Wayfarers 1-3 1st XI
A workmanlike performance following a very lethargic pre match routine. A sign of the advannce we have made over the last 2 or 3 years however is the fact that a number of us realised we were way off the pace in the warm up and in each of their ways galvanised the guys into shape.
The first 10 minutes were going to be key as Wayfarers were a far better side than their league position showed with their first team more than holding their own in the tougher league above. Fortunately we managed to have the better of the first period and with some intelligent running in the mid field and up front scored a superbly crafted goal creating space with a quick interchange of 5 or more passes and threading through a well weighted cross for Eds to guide home following a blindside run. In 15 we were 2 up with another crisp move ending with Gavin forcing a stroke that Jonny H put home with great power. At that point we should have sealed up the game but allowed LW back into the game. Trickster made 3 very good saves but we conceded a goal on 25 minutes, caught on the break and allowed a shot from the top of the D to its way in. The initiative passed to the home side who pressed for the remainder of the half and the break came at the right time for us as we had lost our pattern and were running with the ball needlessly and at the wrong time instead of continuing our passing game.
Five minutes into the second half we restored our two-goal advantage when Knapp picked up a loose ball five yards out and from then on we controlled the game albeit being unable to find the sucker punch. Eds hit the post after a wonder save by the LW keeper and on a couple of occasions we made the wrong decision in the D.
All in all a satisfactory result and a reasonable performance but we do have to look back and consider the number of times we made poor decisions and runs that made the game more difficult than it need. All hands to the pumps next week v Southampton Uni with our being five key players short. David Knapp2nd XI 6-0 Wanderers
Forgive the tired old cliche, but this really was a game of two halves, and one played in the most unpleasant driving rain. In the first we controlled much of the game, so much so that Wanderers' forward line were forced deeper and deeper into their own half to try and get the ball, but failed to make the breakthrough. We were so on top that at one stage Jon Heard surged through a series of tackles on a run which took him from the halfway line to within eight yards of the goal – out of puff and bewildered by unfamiliar surroundings, he was relieved to be fouled and win a short corner. However, throughout the game our corner routine was poor as we failed to convert one from more than a dozen opportunities. Nil-nil at the break and it had all the makings of one of those days.
In the second half we ran riot, three goals in the first five minutes ending the match as a contest. Will Stephens, in his first game of the season, scored twice and modestly claimed the change in fortunes after the break was simply because he had moved into midfield where he adopted a senior-citizen never-run approach. With Cookie running rings round a tired defence, we could have racked up a dozen. As it was, the fifth goal (sorry, scorer please identify yourself!) was wonderfully worked, a flowing, quick move from side to side capped with a cracking finish, and the sixth saw Cookie rob a defender on the halfway line, sprint through, round the keeper and fire home as he fell.UCL Academicals 0-0 3rd XI
Report to follow.4th XI 3-0 Surrey University
In almost 30 years with the OCs I reckon I have watched around 1500 matches and until today I wouldn’t have been able to name the worst one I had seen. The high point of the day came when Adam dished out his home-made cookies, superbly soft with just the right qamount of crunch of the outside, after the final whistle. They were so good they almost made the previous 70 minutes worthwhile. Almost.
The good news is that the 4th XI won 3-0 and moved into third in the table. The bad news is that this was a match which started sloppily and got worse with more unforced and avoidable errors that Steve Harmer’s English O-level paper. Harmer, incidently, was green carded simply because he had been captain of the side last year and the umpire held him responsible for the torpor.
Harmer, the jaded rock at the back of the midfield diamond and a man who last week admitted to being a “reformed Chav”, is an interesting case study. Despite much abuse from team-mates, opponents and passing spectators, week in, week out he turns in solid and unheralded performances. One facet of his play is well worth watching. Give him the ball anywhere in the opposing half, ideally in a dead-ball situation, and then watch. His head darts about as if looking for the smallest opening to thread a precision pass through. Unsuspecting opponents wait for a flick to the right wing or a sweep to the left. The unwary expect a Cristiano Ronaldo moment; what they get is Titus Bramble. Every time – and Opta stats show this is the case in 98.6% instances – having gone through his preparations he then belts the ball as hard and as straight as he can. It’s often effective and is a throwback to the era of grass hockey. There are few such practitioners of the art still left in the game. Get out and see it while you can.
Andy gave us the lead in the fifth minute, Jamal fired home the second on 20 minutes with an almost solitary strike of class, and Dom scrambled home the third with the last hit of the game. That aside, the only drama of the afternoon came when the wind lifted the dugout from its base, over the perimeter fence and deposited it upside down on the grass bank.
Surrey Uni at least brightened up a wretched day with their kit, classic shiny tight shirts straight out of Liverpool’s 1980s period with the shortest shorts to match. They huffed and puffed but seemed obsessed with kicking the ball when they did get near our goal. We gradually allowed ourselves to get sucked into the scrap, so much so that for the last quarter it was the very limited visitors who created the bulk of the attacking chances. The end could not come soon enough.Wimbledon 1-0 Ladies XI
With Wimbledon sitting just below us in the league we knew it was going to be a tough match. It was a disappointing start for us struggling on a very bouncy pitch, frustration showing all over and unfortunately we went down one nil with a simple one on one.
However the second half was a totally different story. We regrouped and played brilliantly piling on the pressure. We had several chances on goal with the hitting of posts and diving for touches but not able to score. A really shame to lose one nil but a great effort with again some fantastic defensive work. Veterans 0-0 St Albans
Report to follow.
Labels: 1st XI, 2009-10, 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI
Match reports November 7 2009
A superb win for the 1st XI, battling back from two down to beat Yately 3-2 and so jump them into second place. The 2nd XI also came from behind - twice - but eventually went down 2-3 to OMWs in a scrappy match marred by an injury to Dodie Khurshid and some substandard umpiring. The Ladies moved into third in Surrey II with a 3-0 win over Old Georgians, the 3rd XI recovered from shipping a goal inside two minutes to beat Horley 3-2 and also move into third, while the 4th XI cruised to a 4-0 victory over a young OMWs side. The eyebrow-raiser scoreline came at Sevenoaks where the Vets went down 2-11.A chance goes begging during the 2nd XI's defeat to OMWsClick here
for this week's match photosYately 2-3 1st XI
A game both sides needed to win but one we managed to earn the points.
Yateley struck first with their dangerous short corner routine paying dividends early on and our failing to make the most of two very good chances. The home side went two up when Trickster chased one of the oppo's forwards and inexplicably brought him down with our having no complaints about the ensuing stroke which was scored with ease. With only a minute to go a two-goal half time deficit would have been a huge problem but at last we woke up and began to realise we are in a game. Two chances in the last minute led to a stroke that Hunter put away giving us the half time psychological advantage.
The second half was a different affair. We came out of the traps fast and dominate the proceedings albeit Yateley looking dangerous on the break. The scores were level when Woody threaded a through pass that reached Gavin whose pinpoint pass was slotted home by Rory who had his best game of the season so far, his fifth in six. From that point onward it seemed as if there would only be one winner but our cause was not helped by three yellow cards to Ripley, Knapp and Brewer, two of which were perhaps very harsh but when back to 11 on the second occasion a short-corner strike from Eds found its way home and we had the lead for the first time in the game. If nothing else Yateley are fighters and were not prepared to lie down and be tickled. They pressed and won two short corners, the final one with the last play of the game but for once the routine let them down and we ran out winners.
A loss for us would have provided Yateley and Southampton with clear daylight at the top of the league but as it is the win puts us one point ahead of Yateley and still two behind Southampton. The next meeting in February will be a very important game and could have a huge bearing on the end of season placings. A poor first half perfromance with Yateley deservedly ahead but a feisty second half one that saw us edge the game, just. David Knapp2nd XI 2-3 Old MidWhitgiftians
Clueless in attack and spineless in defence ... sorry thought I was back at Twickenham. Although it would be a harsh assessment of our performance, in some instances that is how it felt. The fact is that we should have never, never lost against what was at best a mediocre side. This is the exact type of game that we need to take maximum points from, in order to stay in this league - we know that we will face teams significantly better than this lot and so we need to get things right and fast. Old Mid Whits had one
player of any calibre, and we let him punish us. Which is poor.
We were not helped that we lost a few players from the previous week's victory: Tom, Chris, Neil and our skipper Rob (through illness) and the fact that Farqs and Selbs were hobbling around with dodgy hamstrings. We did however welcome back stalwart Dodie but alas he could not finish the game after sustaining a horrific leg injury in the second half (best wishes for a speedy recovery).
Not ideal preparation but even so we should have run out comfortable winners. We started fairly brightly with openings created for Austin and Jimbo, unfortunately nobody could get on the end of either move. Their goal came against the run of play and after one of the poorest decisions I have ever witnessed from an umpire (and trust me I have seen my fair share of howlers, eh Martin) - it didn’t just touch the strikers foot, he absolutely leathered it! I don’t want to sound like a moaning, bitter man so I'll keep this bit short ...
That was the worst umpiring performance I have had to endure since I have played for the OCs. Honestly I can’t remember so many wrong decisions being made. Two of their three goals were absolutely down to umpire errors, which is such a bitter pill to swallow.
Back to a little serious stuff – I’m not going to regurgitate the match - we lost 3-2 and had numerous chances to win, let alone find an equaliser in the last 10 minutes - Cooky decided to step it up a gear and ran them ragged. Paul (stepping in commendably for us) hit the post with about three minutes to go ... you just knew it wasn’t to be our day...
Umpiring aside we need to look at our own performance which was not up to scratch. Each week we talk about composure and ball retention. These are clearly basics but are of huge importance. At times we look good, at others we look extremely shoddy. We have had six games now so should be used to new faces etc. There can be no more excuses. We need to improve our quality all over the pitch and each take responsibility for our own performances. We have definitely shown we can survive in this league, and look forward to welcoming back Neil, Chris and, as rumour would have it, Will Stephens which will strengthen us undoubtedly. But we need to put in a massive performance next Saturday and find some consistency. Or we will lose to Argentina. Chris Porter And in case it needs saying again, the views expressed in this match report are those of the author and not of the whole club etc etcHorley 2-3 3rd XI
Report to follow4th XI 4-0 Old MidWhitgiftians
This week saw the 4th XI take on Old Midwhitgiftians at Thames Ditton. Thanks go to Amy Davis, whose kind pitchside babysitting allowed Rob Jonker to umpire. Amy was undoubtedly delighted to discover that she wouldn’t also be required to babysit the group of teenagers knocking balls around beside the pitch, as it turned out they were in fact our opposition. With an average height of 5’ 3”, compared to our 6’ 4” (yes, this is distorted slightly by Smeer’s 5ft to-be-seen-to-be-believed Mohican), and an average age of 13 to our 65 (yes, this figure is distorted by the presence of Messrs Aston and Crumby’s creaking limbs) gravity and the energy of youth looked like being our biggest problem this week.
Martin stood in for Nige Smith in goal, making his presence felt early on in the game with a scything tackle on OMs forward. The resulting penalty flick was remarkably flicked high and wide of the goal. After that, and not surprisingly, their forward line didn’t go near Martin until at least the last 10 minutes of the match!
OMs young team defended like groups of wasps and frustrated us in the box - time and time again getting in the way when a goal looked certain. The goals did finally flow though and we took a 3-0 lead into half-time. If David Beckham played hockey, he’d probably play it like Steve Harmer; well, that’s what Steve would like you to think. His “David Beckhamesque pass” (he asked me to say that) midway through the first half found Jamal well-placed to open the scoring. A further goal by Jamal and one from Howard followed soon after.
A good start to the second half led to us adding a forth - Adam Justice slotting home moments after shooting agonisingly wide – after a long period of domination. We did create further chances, but with the game seemingly won saw fit to step off the gas and see things out to the final whistle. The OMWs first and only shot came two minutes from time. Another good result which keeps us within two points of second place in the league. Thanks to Rob Jonker for umpiring. Dom TuckerLadies XI 3-0 Old Georgians
A routine win over the league’s bottom side lifted us into third place, and put us in a strong position for a run of three matches against top-five sides. We started strongly and were all over the visitors but only had a Vikki Mottram goal to show for our efforts. We rather lost our way at the end of the first half, but dominated after the break as Goergians’ composure started to fall apart. Veteran Vikki added a classy second from a pull back from the dead-ball line by Charli, and Sarah Mann wrapped up the win with a crisp finish after a goalmouth melee. She later praised “super teamwork and great passing all over the pitch”. Sevenoaks 11-2 Veterans
Of course we all know that hockey is a team game but on Saturday an enjoyable and competitive match was transformed by a certain Paddy Osborn demonstrating the goal scoring talents that made him all time top scorer in the National League with more than 122 goals. His final tally of six goals rather understates his involvement as three others were touched on the line by other players depriving him of a deserved nine-goal haul !
The day started promisingly with 13 players present and correct before kick-off including David Burles who had brought his mother along so we even had support and Sevenoaks had kindly agreed to provide both umpires. The game started slowly for OCs conceding an early goal which we would put down to only having a few minutes practice on the magnificent new pitch at Sevenoaks as the game before had run over. Matt Speers put his body on the line defending shots with his hand and had to come off to get some feeling back into his hand. He spent the rest of the match wondering whether someone had drawn a target on the back of his shirt as every time the ball was lifted it seemed to seek him out!
We got back into the game at 2 - 1 when Derek Shanks, over from the US, crossed the ball for Andrew Eve completely unmarked to rifle the ball home from the top of the D. There was only the goalkeeper to beat and he managed to avoid his recent tendency to fire the ball over the top - aiming for somewhere is very over-rated! This could have been a mistake as Sevenoaks upped their pace and took the their lead to 6 - 1 at half time.
The usual fascinating and incisive talk at half time was cut short by the defence saying don't worry about that just find some way of dealing with No. 27! In the second half we managed to play some good hockey keeping possession and building well only to be finally be broken down outside their D the ball shelled down the pitch and deposited in the back of the net by No. 27! Again we had them worried with a goal from the elusive Burles sneaking into the D and firing home his shot which he cleverly arranged to be deflected in by a Sevenoaks stick. I think he was just looking for some respite from defending!
The final score of 11 - 2 sounds disastrous but there were some great highlights unsurprisingly amongst the defence. Andy Loates stopping a waist high drag flick on the line with aplomb. Peter Shanks making some spectacular saves when appearing to have been beaten and his plea for someone other than him to get involved in defending. And even more unusually in a heavy defeat the usual chorus of "Fortunate Fellow" fellow was not heard from Pete after each goal was scored - you just have to appreciate class !
In the usual Vets way we returned to the Sevenoaks clubhouse, supped some delicious Harveys Best and by the time we left somewhat later had nearly persuaded Sevenoaks that they had been lucky to just sneak a win ! We obviously took some comfort from the fact that St Albans Emperors who we lost narrowly to 0- 2 in the first game of the season had beaten Sevenoaks 6-4 but look forward with a little trepidation to that away match in 2010. Andy Eve
Labels: 2009-10, 2nd XI, 3rd XI, 4th XI, Ladies XI, Veterans