Men’s 1stXI 6 – 1 Oxford University
Scorers: Jay 3, Jimmy 2, Gilo
Mom – Gilo, great goal (great yellow card)
Dod – Stew Laing, YouTube hero
A beautiful morning met the OCs as they descended upon Thames Ditton, Theater of Dreams. Friday evening’s video sharing had some more excited than others, but the team’s morale had certainly been lifted by the presence of a YouTube sensation. The OCs were buzzing and raring to put the past two disappointing results behind them. The students from Oxford, however, had other ideas, starting the game brightly and showing real intent. The OCs knew the students would be up for a battle, given the closely contested match earlier in the season.
A good double save from Dan ensured the OCs didn’t concede the early goal that has been the case far too often this season. Gilo and debutant Harry Thomas took the game by the scruff of the neck when they linked well, leaving Gilo the simple task of beating a couple of players and nailing it bottom corner from the edge of the D. Box-office. 1-0.
The OCs’ continued pressure then led to a well-won corner. Pink Champagne stepped up, full of confidence after a good evening’s viewing, and scored a deftly-lobbed sweep over the keeper, after his initial flick was charged down by the runner.
Having been in a similar situation two weeks ago, the OCs were determined not to have a repeat capitulation. All players stepped up their game, and the forward line worked well with the midfield to win the ball high up the pitch, while the defence mopped up at the back and kept hold of the ball patiently. Further pressure led to the OCs’ next corner, which Pink Champagne slipped to Jay “benefits street” Harman who finished with aplomb.
3-0 Half time. Andres and Knappy brought the OCs together and focused energies, making it clear that 3-0 was a far better score than 8-1. The consensus, however, was that the next goal was vital, and the OCs were determined to make it theirs.
The second half started brightly for the OCs, playing some great possession hockey and keeping Dan relatively cold between the sticks. Things got slightly tight however, when three yellow cards were shown to the home side. Gilo and Paddy may claim to be unlucky, but better decision making will ensure these mistakes aren’t repeated. Page, on the other hand, can have few complaints. Perhaps the lack of alcohol in his system finally took its toll after an otherwise solid performance.
The remaining few OCs rallied round and played some sensible, experienced hockey. This was best illustrated by Jay keeping the ball in the corner, football style, with over 25 minutes remaining. Back to the full 11, the OCs stepped up their game. Some slack defending led to an Oxford corner, but the ball was cleared and Pink Champagne dispatched it into the unay goal a mere 7 seconds later after leaving the keeper in a heap. Thug Lyfe.
Stuart Rippers then ended up slightly out of position, taking on the Oxford defence on the edge of their D. After wiping the blood from his nose, Rippers smashed a pass into the D which was picked up by Jay who lobbed the ball over the onrushing keeper. 5-0.
The OCs were determined to keep the pressure on, and soaked up many a spirited uni attack with some solid defending. The final corner of the day allowed Stew to grant Jay his hat trick, with a deflection in front of the man on the line.
The game should have ended there but it didn’t. Some slack defending allowed the uni to score with seconds remaining, putting a slight dampener on Dan’s otherwise joyous mood. Apparently it didn’t go down well on the bench either.
6-1 was the result of a great OC performance, but I will be surprised if the students’ form doesn’t improve over the coming weeks, and they deserve credit for not letting the scoreline affect their desire for the final goal.
A strong fines session ensued, and some key players stuck around to win the pub quiz, before being subjected to Ceige singing every song on his iPod in a solo karaoke effort. Good times.
Men’s 3rdXI 9 – 0 Kenley
Goal Scorers: Eds 3, Knappy 2, Alex Lewis 2, Bish and Grimer 1
After a prolonged festive break we knew the advent of Kenley was going to be an important match as we kick off the second half of our league campaign. With excellent availability it’s now getting competitive for positions in this side, which is a good thing.
Our last game against Woking was full of structure and patience so the game plan was pretty simple. After a few squandered mishits by Eds (much to the delight of his own team mates on the bench), and a missed penalty flick, we broke down the right again through Darren and Grimer and won a short corner which Eds finally made good contact with to put us ahead.
The goals began to come as Knappy and Alex Lewis looked threatening up front as we held our structure and moved the ball well through a midfield ruled by Cato and Grimer. At the back we transferred it quickly although occassionally to opposition players but whatever Kenley had up front was quickly killed off as we dominated possession. 4-0 up at the half and the game was pretty much over. David Knapp, having not played for the side for 3 months then decided to change our formation at half time. It raised a few eyebrows but we began the second half positively and although its hard to maintain discipline when goals begin to go in we did play some excellent hockey and a final scoreline of 9-0 was a fair reflection of our dominance.
Goals from Eds(3), Knappy(2), Alex Lewis (2), Bish & Grimer. The all important clean sheet will also have made Nigel smile after the away fixture against Kenley when the thick cloud of red mist descended. That game seems like a long time ago now. Currently second in the league this weekend sees us entertain Teddington in a top of the table showdown at Fortress TD on our beloved Veterans Day. Bring it on!