Match Reports – February 26th 2022

Teddington 2-2 Men’s 1st XI
A short trip on a crisp Sunday afternoon was in store for the OCs. A south-west London derby of old, but a Scotland-England derby of new always carried a slight edge to it and this showing was no different. A rowdy (and at times politically questionable) crowd welcomed the unbeaten-in-2022 OCs, with left-half extraordinaire and perfectly unfazed Matt Simpson taking copious amounts of chat on the OCs left channel.

The first quarter offered very little in terms of chances, but allowed OCs management to assess the threat of the Teddington (or “Teddies”) direct ball from high full back to leading forward line. A threat that was neutralised following some tinkering with the press. Teddies broke the deadlock early in Q2 however; a breakaway chance down the right scrambled itself across the D to an unmarked Teddies forward who had the simple task of putting away the first goal of the game. Undeterred, OCs found their rhythm and some slick passages of play resulted in plenty of circle penetrations and chances, but to no avail. Teddies 1-0 OCs at the half.

The half time message was simple; play the simple pass, build from the back and *put it *on a foot in the Teddies D, if nothing else. The OCs came out the better side for the second half, controlling the tempo and possession, as well as *putting it *on a foot multiple times in the Teddies D. Having had his sighter, Muhammed Irfan dispatched the second opportunity given to him high and right. 1-1. “You watch, I score” (Irfan, 2022 and probably 2010-2021 as well). The OCs dug deep to see out Q3 with messers Wilson and Rhodes simultaneously taking some time out on the bad boys bench; poor judgement to some, more money in the fines pot to others.

It was all to play for as the two sides entered Q4, the game ebbing and flowing; excellent for the neutral. The same can’t be said for the OCs management on the sideline. Another breakaway chance for Teddies was elegantly finished to put the home side 2-1 up. A deft open-blade chip that beat the onrushing Josh Doble had the crowd prematurely celebrating victory. With five minutes to go, the effective OCs press was finally rewarded with a high turnover from the in-form Ben Roe. Roe entered the D with only one thing on his mind; onion. A cool backhand finish levelled the score at 2-2 and shared the spoils. The draw meant the OCs have taken four points from their top-five rivals Teddies this season, a huge hallmark for where the team now sit in national league pedigree.

Side note: There is no room for racism in any walk of life. A rather thick line now exists between what is ok and what isn’t. Despite the thickness, some people still cross the line. Nonetheless, The Good Guys will always come out on top.

Men’s 2nd XI 5-3 Wimbledon 3s
As ever a four-pint minimum on Friday night meant the Good Bloke XI turned up fresh and ready for another rumble in the jungle. After some gentle pre-match banter on the side-line, we headed into the changing rooms (Much to the surprise of David RJ Attenborough) for a pointed and clear chat from our supreme leader. A typical warm up followed at the parish and we were ready.

The first half could not have gone better. We were as structured as the Milton Keynes urban sprawl and clinical as Adam Kay. We scored four. The first goal was some nifty work down the left before a well placed shot from Coops was confirmed to be in by the talented Cal ( . The second was some nice work around their 25 before Evan found space top D to slide one past the keepers right into the bottom corner. The third was a fierce ball from Lawson onto the P spot for a tidy finish from Coops and the fourth was again a delightful Ricky Ponting esc finish from Mr Morris into the netting. We therefore came into the half-time break feeling happy. Our resident oil merchant had even quartered up some oranges to provide us with some Vitamin D! Great form and we could be forgiven for being in good spirits.

However, Coach Dave has cleary been watching too much of the news as he came out all guns blazing. The uplifting speech somehow failed to rouse the team and we started to ship some goals. Some limb wrist challenges and some commendable marking and nifty play in the middle from the Dons got the game to 5-3 with six to go (OSL scored a lovely one in the middle of their attacks) but thankfully we managed to not lose our heads completely and that was the final score. John Heard (OC) said as we walked off, “If you can play a half like that and win 5-3 then you must be good”, he is right. We are sick.

Talking of sick… the team fractured on its quest for Six Nations success on the pitch and in the bar. Some played with grace and skill, others decided to play more aggressively, there is no need to point fingers as I wouldn’t want to embarrass a 26 going on 34-year-old man for redecorating the local pub. Next week we play a game on the northern side of the River. I must admit that I am always slightly out of my comfort when I am outside an SW Postcode sector, let alone when I am the wrong side of the river. We must have our heads screwed on and Kevlar in place if we are going to continue our promotion push.

MOM: Ed “Boomda” Welshboure
DOD: Coo “The watering can” ps
CM: Cal “The thief” Tickner

Spencer Hurricanes 3-1 Men’s 3rd XI
After a totally shambolic week we fittingly played in a really shambolic way, especially in the first half. All looked rosy at close of play on Monday with two players coming down from the seconds and a decent availability from our squad. Four days later we were down to 12 due to two being asked to step down ( and having arranged something when asked at the 11th hour to play), one deciding that corporate hospitality at Twickenham was a better bet for the day and one not actually being available at all. To add to the chaos I forgot to check that Lewi was picking up Toby from the club, that he wasn’t, but the resourceful KGS student managed to catch the train, avoid paying a fare and still beat Kenty to the ground. The other fatal factor was our pitching up with an expectation of winning and being faced by a good Spencer side who wanted to win. After being unbeaten in five months the expectation of winning is, to an extent, understandable. Less understandable was the volume of unforced turn overs in all areas of the pitch especially in the first half. That we went into half time just one down illustrates how our oppo failed to take advantage with Rosko largely untroubled in the goal with only two saves to make. This was two saves more than the home keeper.

We were vastly improved in the second half and had most of the play with Coppers setting up Ed the Pred who was in his usual prefect spot to deflect home a powerful tomahawk cross. A few minutes later we scored our second when Lewi took a quick free hit advancing into the D with the ball flying into the D. The engaged umpire was slow in awarding the goal whilst the disengaged umpire decided to disallow the goal and instead insisted that the free hit was taken again. No explanation was given even on request and there were echoes of an earlier game in the season at TD. Spencer defended doggedly and very well with their tall defender in particular dominating a la Scarney, who we missed, whilst their two best forwards combined well on the break to pinch two goals late on when we correctly were going for the win. We could not cope with the pace and speed of their youngest player, albeit with his having half a pitch to run into, but he took his goal well and set up the third goal.

Our good run comes to an end and we now have to rely on Cheam dropping points and winning all remaining seven games, something that we can do. Kenty was deservedly our man of the match whilst D o D was shared by two of our defenders for their philanthropic gestures of passing the ball to Spencer. I buggered off to Twickenham to compound my miserable day but at least I reached England’s HQ an hour before kick off with time to sample some of the famed corporate hospitality. David Knapp

Wanderers 6s 0-6 Ladies 1st XI
On Saturday the Ladies 1s found themselves away at Battersea Park again for approximately the 100th time this season (5 teams in our league use it as their home pitch). Even more joyously, our game wasn’t until 4.30. With this in mind we were all feeling very determined to come away with a good win against Wanderers 3s. We are currently sitting 2nd in the league by one point and every game is important.

We started well with a quick goal after only 4 minutes when a cross from Molly Hanson was calmly put away by Ellie Hauck. This was followed fairly quickly by another goal when a penalty corner straight strike was deflected in off the right post by Bella Fewings. The next goal came from some beautiful passing between Ellie Hauck and Alina Mir up the left hand side of the pitch. Alina then passed to Laura Sealey in the D who fired it home putting us 3-0 up at half time.

We continued this strong play into the second half with Richie making some great runs through the centre of the pitch. At the back Molly Warner made some very calm saves and Helen Hawes notably saved a goal on th e line from Wanderers only penalty corner. Throughout the game the strong back line of Jax, Helen, Hazel and Nikki made sure that any attack from Wanderers was quickly nipped in the bud. Our 4th goal came from a well timed pass by Ellie Hauck into Flo Holder who finished it off and the 5th and 6th goals came from Richie at Penalty Corners (one a straight strike through the goalies legs and one following a slip back from Sylvie).

We finished the game at 6-0 and were promptly told to vacate the pitch as the facilities were closing (someone was obviously desperate to get to the pub). Richie was voted man of the match and I was given the joy of writing this match report for leaving my stick on the pitch and also for wearing knee supports for preventative measures as I couldn’t risk any cuts this week. I am pleased to report this method was successful…so who’s laughing now hey?! Back to Battersea Park again next week…

POM Richie
DOD Laura Sealy
Goals: Laura, Flo, Bella, Ellie and Richie x2

Ladies 2nd XI 1-1 Spencer 5s
A frustrating day where we could have easily one but for a woefully dysfucntional short-corner routine which saw us only get two shots from around 15 attempts. The side now looks a really efficient unit with a good combination of experience and youth and has the makings of a really good team.

Old Kingstonian 2s 1-2 Ladies 3rd XI
Ladies 3s were keen for a run around in the glorious sunshine. Despite OKs delaying tactics as they awaited their goalkeeper, we were undeterred and remained focused. Some excellent first half runs from Sophie up the right wing resulted in a number of chances, but unfortunately we were unable to convert. The score remained 0-0 into half time. Early pressure in the second half resulted in good attacking play down the middle from Mischa with Hannah scoring in the right hand corner. OKs came back to make it 1-1, despite some excellent saves from Michele. Continued pressure resulted in a number of short corners for us and an excellent rebound from Manny slotted the ball under the goalie’s foot making it 2-1 for the final score. A very satisfying win after a defeat earlier in the season. Joint POM to Mischa and Sophie for their fantastic runs, smooth passing and never giving up!

Barnes 6s 0-3 Ladies 5th XI
Ladies 5s took a short trip to Sheen for this week’s clash with Barnes, one spot above us in the table and a game we were very keen to win. Suitably fired up in our team talk, we went out hard from the whistle and dominated the play. All the chances were our way but we were just off target until a super clean strike from Zoe hit the mark. 1-0. Excellent. Barnes tried to regroup but were constantly thwarted by a rock solid defence who channeled out every threat and intercepted their play to drive the ball back through the midfield and down the baseline. We kept up the pressure in the attacking D, again with lots of chances, but credit to the Barnes goalie who denied us several great opportunities so we ended the first half still 1 goal up.

The Barnes coach was fiery and working hard to power up her side so we were braced for a determined second half – and rightly so as they linked their passes more confidently and started to make closer forays into our D. We fought strong with the mid and defence working smoothly together and the forward line continued to switch it up to keep the opposition on their toes. Bernie and George connected to set up a nice second goal about 10 minutes into the second half, and Nicola and Poppy fed in many shots to try and increase the gap again. Finally a hard worked short paid off with everyone in the D having a touch on the ball till George decided “enough” and parked the ball in the back of the net where it belonged. A confident 3 – 0 win with everyone pulling together and making POM a tough choice. Poppy & Candela were awarded the honours, both on their debut showing for the Ladies 5s.

OC Stormers 4-0 Old Georgians Fire
On a sun drenched, spring-like Saturday (I considered tights but the #shortsforports campaign was so well supported I thought the better of it) we welcomed our besties; Old Georgians to Fortress TD. Our stricken skipper opted for a new 3-4-3 formation which, after an initial bedding in period; worked pretty well. OGs are not as bad as their league position would suggest and so we knew that this would be a tough game. Having said that we settled into our new formation and had the upper hand for the bulk of the first half. The pressure led to a clutch of penalty corners from which we were awarded a stroke after some fancy goaline footwork from an OG defender. CB duly finished from the spot. The second came shortly after , and followed a passing sequence that was probably the highlight of the match , finally finished off by Will after their keeper had made 3 initial blocks. 2-0 at the half sounds comfortable but it didn’t seem that we were ever fully in control.

And so after the usual rousing half time team talk we began the 2nd half like a Stu Ripley hangover. Thankfully Goalie made a couple of awesome saves as OGs smelt blood and so we kept our advantage entering into the final quarter of the game. Eventually we got our collective second wind , Ash started throwing his 60 yard bombs to stave off pressure and eventually we snatched the game-deciding 3rd via Cuzza after good work from Rippers. Some gloss was applied 5 mins from time when Cuzza picked up his brace (and our 4th) with a well taken deflection with an assist from the returning Chris Tong. Some comical moments in the sunshine included Gav tripping over the ball , CB throwing a sat Nav aerial in the general direction of the bar (when does the Rugby start ?!), naylor deciding to tackle his own teammates so he could set off on another 100 yard dash and yours truly getting back on the naughty step!

Another good win , even if the score line slightly flattered the hosts and solid momentum as we head into the business end of the season. Go well against Guildford lads and say hi to BB for me , I’ll be thinking of you as I hack my way around the fairways of Villamoura. Obrigado. Chris Porter