Match Reports – 22nd October

1st XI 3-3 v Horley

Another week without a 1st XI report but a disappointing result against strugglers Horley with a raft of missed chances to blame.

Oxted 5-3 2nd XI

Consistency remains the problem as we struggle to put back-to-back wins together.

Purley 1-4 3rd XI

After an excellent performance last week, we travelled to Purley with high hopes as Matt Cook and Chris Oneil-Dunne returned to the squad. With our midfield general Neil Grimes on half term holiday, we changed our formation to 4-3-3 with a view to attacking Purley from pushback. We did have the majority of possession in the first half and Purley didnt look in the game. However our structure was poor and we complicated our game. Long balls into the D were snuffed out well by an experienced Purley defence as they stacked numbers in their own half. Porter saw green after loudly stating Martin’s decision was “f-ing bollocks” – one day Ports will realise swearing immediately after a decision is not helpful to the team cause… CB scored the opener after Cookiey made a piercing run and Farqs was on hand knock in our second just before the break.

For the first four games of the league season we have been 2-0 up at half time. The game can go two ways and we can keep it simple and win at a canter, playing our hockey or make things hard for ourselves. The latter had proven to be the case more often than not. This was no exception and although we went four up following a short corner deflection from Cookiey and Knapp’s penalty flick, we struggled to click. The defence was tested as Purley came back into the game. Our “youngster” Mike in goal touched the ball (and oppo players) more than any other game so far. Purley were rewarded for their efforts and a final 4-1 scoreline fairly reflects a poor performance from the squad.

This said, we go into an unwelcome two week break top of the league with four wins from four. It may be we’ve set ourselves overly high standards that we walked away disappointed yesterday. We are unbeaten since last November (that disastrous day chris bents scored their winner on the line) and top of the premier league. Its still too early to be dreaming of anything special this season and we have the tougher matches in this league to come. Four from four is a start as we continue to be the gold standard of the OCHC, but our best is yet to come…

4th XI 1-1 NPL Bees

Two games played, first point earned and a mighty tally of 28 players have featured so far, including three juniors, some graduates of the OC Colts programme.
So the newly reformed ‘Mighty’ 4th team battle bus moved on to NPL, still in search of its first win. After the torrid introduction to SOHL Division 3 against Goan Men, an encounter littered with cards and bravado, we were hoping for an easier fixture against win-less NPL. It was not to be. A tight game with a scratch OC team that came together late the night before, with some dusting off their hockey boots for the first time in many years. Some stunning saves from Nige ‘The Wall’ Hawes kept us in the game after going one behind in a scrappy first half. NPL grew in confidence in the second half and strong defence from veterans Harmer, Archer and Vickers saved our blushes. Good performances of note from Jake Crumby, James Crabtree, Jonathan Cheesmur and Ed Enock. A well worked short corner between Mango and Vickers evened the score. In the end, a draw was a fair result and one we can build as the squad settles into a more regular core group.

Barnstormers 1-7 Southgate Flagons

As the sun peeked out from behind the shifting clouds, a threadbare and undercooked Band of Brothers endured The Long March to The North. Two of the heroic group had leg injuries, and one threw up – and all this before the contest had even commenced. The opponents’ swift vanguard proved elusive for the  brave Defenders of The Realm to catch, and too often The North’s cannon fire hit its mark. Even once The Little General was retired from the fray, wounded, the courageous cohort battled on – but it was to prove in vain. As for the contest itself, most of the weary combatants of The South are trying to wipe it from their memories, thereby hoping to avoid PTSD. The battle had been lost (7-1), but the war is far from over.

CHECK OUT NEXT WEEK’S MENS 3’s, Barnstormers and Ladies’ FIXTURES HERE!  MENS 1 + 2 HERE!