The Men’s 1st XI won the Surrey Cup for the fourth season on the trot with a 3-1 win over Spencer. George Pettitt reports:
The sun was shining at Fortress TD as the Men’s 1st XI and Spencer 1st XI battled it out to be crowned Surrey’s premier team. We were missing an number of notable absentees ahead of the season finale, with a number of the squad celebrating their championship-winning season on the slopes.
We controlled possession and dictated the tempo of this encounter for much of the opening 20 minutes, coming close with efforts from Wilson and Laszlo but found a Spencer goalkeeper in good form. However, in the 22nd minute the deadlock was deservedly broken when Laidman’s drag flick rattled the post before Will Phillips calmly slotted the ball home from close range. However, at end of the first half the momentum was with the opposition as we were reduced to 10 men following a rash challenge from David Roberts. Despite us weathering the initial storm, Spencer found space in the circle and unleashed a shot into the top corner of Howell’s goal. 1-1. As the first half fizzled out, we still controlled the play but were always susceptible to the fast Spencer counter.
At the start of the second half, we increased our work-rate and began to apply pressure on their opposition defence. Spencer were thankful to their post-man for denying Matthew Laidman’s venomous drag-flick as we began to ramp up the pressure. George Pettitt made a bursting run forward before squaring to Cinderella man, Chris Wiseman, whose unfortunate slip from two yards spurned another chance for the hosts. Hugh Robinson and Gilo Rozier continued to bamboozle Spencer’s left-side, as they had done in the league fixture only three weeks earlier. A moment of brilliance from Rozier saw him eliminate a helpless opposite number before executing a cross of the highest quality which found Man of the Match, Paddy Harman, on the back post. The Veteran midfielder finished expertly to put us 2-1 up.
Our dominance began to tell and an expertly crafted short corner routine from Hugh Robinson found Ben Wilson on the p-spot, who slammed the ball home for his fifth goal of the season, much to the jubilation of the cup final crowd. Despite a late Spencer rally, Howell made a phenomenal save to keep the scoreline at 3-1. As the final whistle below, the cup remained in Thames Ditton for the fourthconsecutive year, leaving the Men’s 1st XI as league and cup winners. Post-match, it was fitting that Club Captain, Helen Hawes, awarded the trophy to the Men’s 1st XI, which brought an end to an incredible season. The side can now look forward to a couple of months of rest, golf and cricket before national league preparation begins.