Ladies 1 – 3 Cheam (friendly)
Half term week took its toll with several players resting up and others away. For the 10 of us there the plan was to put into practice the learnings from training and coach Knappy was there to provide umpiring and support which was great especially as there were a few contentious calls from the oppo..its only a friendly so apparently no need to give a short for a deliberate foul in the D enough said! Went down well with me as those that know me can imagine!!
Anyway onto the match… a good game and we played our game and structure, thanks to the oppo for lending us a rotating player every ten minutes, the confusion with our structure allowed for me to be unmarked as we pressed forward early and a great cross from Liz I quickly converted into a goal smacked in from the back of the D. One of our routine training goals! They pressed back and we kept our shape and made some great plays around the pitch. Liz contolled the centre and played the ball out either way. Some great play up the left from Laura and Fletch and also from the right through Georgie and Toni we definitely had the advantage and played strong. Sadly a few simple breakdowns allowed them to make some good passes up the pitch which they converted. Never easily mind and Michele made some cracking saves and the defence held strong. We also had some missed opportunities up front which would have seen a more reflective score line but all in all a good game and a good run around. Fletch owes 10 sit ups at training for stopping and blaming herself and Tash owes 10 for being too nice and going and getting the ball for the oppo…
1XI P – P Purley
3XI 4 – 2 Wanderers
Hosting 2nd place wanderers at fortress TD we knew this game was crucial to the campaign. A lacklustre and frankly worst warm up of the season left us second best for the first ten minutes as wanderers showed they had pace up front and looked threatening. Some good saves from mike Norrington kept it all square. Up front we reunited mark Smudger smith with seasoned pro David knapp in an exciting line up. Slowly we began to take control with Chris Brewer switching the ball well from left to right in an unfamiliar midfield role. We broke down the right through rob j and Smudgers pass was spot on for eds to put us ahead. Shortly afterwards wanderers converted a counter attack and the game was fairly all square. However we showed character and took control of the game for the rest of the first half with well worked goals from Knappy and Smudger.
3-1 at the half was undoubtedly a flattering score line after the way we started. But a patient and better start to the second half showed we had the structure to win this game. We came close with a few short corners but couldn’t kill wanderers off and their pace continued to threaten our defence. Eventually that told as wanderers scored off a counter attack leaving us 3-2 up with 15minutes left. We didn’t panic and kept playing our own hockey and it came down to chris bents shot from the tightest of angles to secure the points. With 3 minutes left eds broke down play with a poor tackle before some back chat from the wanderers player allowed Martin Williamson to up his cards per game average and the game ended 10 a side. A vital win at the fortress and whilst it’s still early days the league table is beginning to shake out. Next weeks game at 3rd places Reigate being another massive game for us.