Match Reports – Saturday 6th October

It was a rather wet Saturday at the weekend and everyone battled through the driving rain to try and bring home some points. A special mention goes to our Back-To-Hockey Ladies, the Martlets who braved the conditions to play their first ever match.
Men’s 1st XI 6-1 Tunbridge Wells
After a well earned 3 points away at Milton Keynes, Old Cranleighans returned to the familiar setting of Thames Ditton, with a clash against newcomers Tunbridge Wells awaiting on the new astro. OCs were at almost full strength, welcoming Ben Wilson back into the squad.

OCs started the game poorly, with Tunbridge taking advantage of a sloppy turnover to break and win a penalty stroke when the ball was adjudged to hit George Petitt’s foot on the line. The goal bought an immediate reaction from the home side with a mazy Alex Czerniewski run leading to Matt Murphy’s 4th goal of the season. Tunbridge felt hard done by at 1-1 when a ball hit Ollie Davies was adjudged to be missing the goal, leading to a short corner not a penalty stroke for the visitors. OCs saw off the short corner and then Matt Murphy scored his 5th goal of the season with a drag flick that rattled the top corner and went in. Tunbridge Wells responded well forcing Josh Doble and his short corner defence into a series of saves before a cool Charlie Lamb finish against the run of play gave OCs a flattering lead going into half time.

The half time message was clear, keep the ball, play simple hockey and get the next goal and we should come away with 3 points. What proceeded was the best 20 minutes spell of the young season for the home side, with a slick short corner routine, won by a risky Oliver Davies run, leading to a Jack Smart goal. Matt Murphy added another drag flick and open play goal to take his tally to 7 goals in 2 games and cap off a great OCs second half. The mature and disciplined second half was much different to that of Tunbridge Wells who went down to 8 men and had their coach red carded for constant chat to the umpire.

The second win in a row will be pleasing to the Old Cranleighans faithfuls but a tough test away next weekend at Phil Ball’s Wayfarers will be a big indicator on how far this squad has come.

Men’s 2nd XI 1-2 Camberley & Farnborough 1s
The men’s 2s got a taste of their own medicine away at Camberley & Farnborough, losing to a winning goal from a short corner in the final minute of the game.

Despite Camberley looking leisurely in their warm-up and OCs raring to go in the rain, it was the home side who dominated the first half and took a deserved lead. OCs went very close with what would have been a goal of the season contender in the opening minutes with a wonderful end-to-end move between Gallyer, Emery and Wiseman, which was well saved by the Camberley keeper. However, Camberley proved very difficult to break down and OCs struggled to find their shape and real goal-scoring opportunities.

OCs found their way into the game in the second half and were arguably the better side, enjoying the majority of possession but still struggling to make in-roads into another well-drilled 1st XI, frustration resulting in the first yellow card of the season.

The equaliser came with OCs first short corner with 5 minutes to play, Jimmy Webber putting away a well-placed flick for his second of the season.

A well-earnt draw in the wet away from home was snatched away from OCs with Camberley scoring with almost the final play of the game from, inevitably, a short corner. Good lessons learnt and on to hosting Wanderers 2s at home on 13th October.

Goals: Jimmy Webber
MoM: Sam Wilson
Champagne Moment: Tom Gallyer
Other: John Jauncey

Men’s 3rd XI 8-2 Spencer
In an attempt to restore some decorum to our match reports Knappy is serving a one game literary ban following his onslaught on Cheam. This week we travelled to Earlsfield in torrential rain for our second match in Surrey Div 2. As if a 4.30pm start was bad enough, an injury delay in the curtain raiser meant we didnt push back till 5pm. Late pushbacks dont seem to sit well with our squad. The youngsters hangovers are kicking in and the dads are ready for an afternoon nap. Only the recently engaged Rosco in goal was happy with the pushback time as he had landed on the red eye from st lucia in the morning. This side was definitely the youngest we have put out during this 5 year assault on the surrey leagues as we welcomed Tom Philips, promoted from the 2s, for his debut.

This was the perfect definition of a “game of two halves.” The first half saw us slow on distribution, poor on basics and generally lethargic. We did score twice including a superb reverse strike from Dave Wilson, but Spencer counter attacked effectively and left Rosco stranded twice to leave us level at half time. We were also a man down as packers took a stick on his finger, which was thankfully only bruised.

The 3rd quarter decided the game as (finally) we switched the ball at pace and Spencer had no answer to the skill of Kenty and a brilliant individual finish by Ben J. Our short corner routine was boosted by Henry Don, whose flick hit the crossbar for it to be converted and the game was ours. Our midfield took control with Grimer, CB, Philips and Dave enjoying the majority of possession as Spencer crumbled. A back line of Tongy, Henry Don, Chris, Mezz and Heardy never looked troubled in the second half and we added some late goals to leave us deserving 8-2 winners.

Spencer admitted they had a few players away and would give us a good game in Jan. There will be tougher tests ahead, as we host 3rd placed Wanderers at fortress TD on saturday. Bring it on!

DoD – CB. Harsh as he had a good game but leaving during a match because you have “dinner to get to” merits it
MoM – Kenty – some superb energy and skill up front

Men’s 4th XI 1-4 Surbiton
After the highs of our well-deserved win against Purley, we came back to earth with a bump with a 4-1 loss to Surbiton. A disappointing and at times frustrating performance saw us stuck in our own half and giving up possession. All credit to Surbiton who looked hungrier and sharper. At 3-0 down, we looked down and out but fought back in the second half. At 3-1 we perhaps deserved a second goal to push them all the way. The last ten we played with ten after Justin was sin-binned and did well to only concede one more to finish 4-1.

Men’s Barnstormers 10-0 East Grinstead
The pent-up frustrations of Summer and lengthy pre-season preparations were unleashed on our unlucky first league match visitors, East Grinstead.

A one-sided affair in the rain saw Barnstormers comfortably overrun the opposition and bag 5 goals in each half for a 10-0 victory. Even half-match debutant Rippers (N) made the scoresheet, though others wondered if ‘play in front of the back three’ was mis-interpreted by him as a reference to the opposition’s defence!

Gerry (5) and Rocco (4) made up the balance but many more scoring opportunities were left on the pitch and we hope – and will need – to use more of these over the coming weeks.

Many thanks to Rob Crumby for whistling in the rain (wind?) with Tim Cook.

Men’s Hamstrings
No match.

Ladies 1st XI 1-1 Oxted 1s
It was a wet and cold day and OC were up against Oxted Ladies 1s who had moved down from the premier division, so it was going to be a tough game. OC came out strong and were linking the ball well down the right side of the pitch. Georgia Watson at RH worked extremely hard to create some great attacking opportunities for the forwards. Oxted didn’t let up and they put OC under pressure, but OC defended hard to keep the opposition out of the D.

In the second half OC continued to keep the pressure on in the wet conditions and finally secured a goal from Georgie Newbold to make it 1-0. The last 10 minutes Oxted forced OC into their own quarter and were awarded several short corners, OC managed to keep them from scoring from any of them but then a break in play and shot on target from Oxted saw them secure a goal to make the final score 1-1. A tough game, but the team worked hard and supported each other throughout and for the most part controlled the game.

Ladies 2nd XI 3-0 Old Kingstonian 2s
I guess we can only describe the weather, when we turned up for our home match, as ‘great for Ducks’!!! To spur us on and raise our spirits Ellie did one of her classic warm-up’s in the changing room and we bravely took ourselves to a very wet and soggy pitch, fully focused and ready.

Nick, who was coaching for us, was sodden through: we attired him with the Team Dry Robie in the hope that the fleece lining would warm him up enough to be at the side-line throughout the match (I think he was very grateful).

There were changes to the positioning, with Josie playing Left Wing and Bernie on Left Half, with two subs. Our focus was to drive the ball forward and remember to do the 45 degree angles. We started off positive and really dominated by pushing forward, if the OK’s did get any chance of breaking, they were certainly blocked by the solid defence. Although we did have most of the play and there were chances to score, but these were from long balls ‘banged’ into the D and sadly were not finished off. The OK’s did apply a lot of pressure and even got a short corner, Helen bravely went for the run and from our defending pressure ensured they did not convert their short corner.

Our first goal did come from a short corner: Helen, who stopped the ball on her open side, took a shot, scuffed it (her own words) and it was lucky that it landed on the end of Josie’s stick – who neatly did a reverse shot into goal. This was the turning point we needed as this lifted our souls and hungry for another. Although, OK’s too were also hungry and had an opportunity to counter attack with a shot on goal, whereby Evie put her foot to it and booted out of the way.

At half time we were 1-0 up and the rain still came down. Nick’s talk was about NOT banging the balls into the D but to get to the Baseline, or T-Zone/point – to remember our 90 degree and also P-Spot: he promised us we would score from these.

The start of the second half was very much a repeat with us dominating with most of the procession. We used the width from our 16 yard hit outs with Helen passing to Alex then to Ems beautifully. Hannah got our second goal, which she admits was a feeble ‘push,’ rather than a nice clean hit, due to her stick being so wet from the rain.

The game got more feisty and it seemed that the OK’s were getting frustrated, which resulted to one of their players being Green Carded.

We won a shortie and ‘Angry’ Jo appeared, who delivered a beauty from the top of the D into the right hand corner of the goal.

The final score was 3-0 to us and a really positive game, despite the weather, and some of us were playing out of position. There was really good communication and great calling from the back, supporting the team as a whole.

Thanks to Nick for coaching, that really helps us develop as a Team and encouraging us – we hope my Dry Robie served you well. POM Josie 🙂

Ladies Vamps 1-1 Oxted
Sandwiched between two spectacularly sunny days was Saturday – beyond dismal and very, very wet. This along with playing in the darkest depths of Surrey at 4.30pm, made the fixture against Oxted pretty unappealing. Even Pam A, who starts looking forward to her next game of hockey roughly around 9am on a Sunday, didn’t seem particularly inspired.
But there were points to be won, and once we started, we remembered we were there to play hockey, not go for a swim.
It was a pretty even match, with, to be perfectly honest, both teams squandering chances. However we went 0-1 up after a lovely run down the right by Georgie, finishing with a cross that Pam L put into the goal at a ludicrously tight angle. In my view, this has closed the door on Pam being allowed back in defence…!
The second half was pretty even, but Oxted scored a controversial goal from a free hit that went straight into the D. Complaints left the umpires unmoved – although that could have been because they were frozen – leaving the final score 1-1.
A special mention goes to Fiona as it was her first game back for way too long. It is FAB-U-LOUS (I’ve just been watching Strictly) to have her back on the pitch.
Another special mention goes to Lesley, who bravely stepped up to play in goal – I suspect she hadn’t seen the forecast. After the initial scare of ‘I need my inhaler!’ was dealt with she put in a good shift.
Finally, well done to the whole team for a good team effort, with Jenny being my player of the match. She seems to know no fear, putting herself on the line many times in defence.

Ladies 3rd XI

Match report to follow.