The first thought for the Satuarday’s game comes on Thursday evening, when the team sheet gets sent out. Hmm who’s in the side who’s in my defence, I look oh good I`ve got 5 defenders, my mind can now relax.
Friday, hard day at work plastering a very large ceiling, which my shoulder will not thank me for in the morning. The only benefit of the job is I`ll be finished early.
Home and having a cup of tea at 3:50, the phone rings, Its Ken (Ken has been a mate for over 40 years)
K: what you up to,
M: not a lot, cup of tea and chillin,
K: fancy a beer,
M: Ken its Friday and I`ve got hockey tomorrow,
K: Just a couple of early ones, we wont be late.
Right, drinking with Ken is always an early one, that never seems to end (there are loads of stories to be told) and always leads to me being extremely wasted and completely righting off the next day. So after a long conversation we come to an understanding.
M: Ok two pints and I`m going home.
True to my word, well nearly, two pints and a cup of coffee, then home.
Saturday, As normal up at 6 a bit of breakfast and Netflix, I was right my shoulder isn`t happy, some tender loving care will sort that out. Get dressed and walk the dog. Back from the walk my mind turns to hockey, Kit bag sorted, stretching ect. Done I`m ready. 10 0`clock I`m bored now, oh hold on Sarah is going for breakfast with the Ladies 2s, Hmmm might gate crash.
12:15 I say my goodbyes and head off, the hour and a half journey up north was a quiet and lonely one. As I was reaching the historic town of Kings Lynn, I took a wrong turn and went through a large brick archway that can only be described as Kings Lynn`s answer to the Arc de Triomphe.
I arrive at the complex known as Lynnsport, now this is an impressive complex that caters for every sport, I believe they even have a Pool, Darts and dominos centre, oh and the changing room had a sauna in it. How good is that, ( just a thought Long Road).
Oh yeah, we played a game of hockey against the Pelicans. The game was a hard fought battle with South having the better chances, but unable to finish their chances. Everyone worked hard throughout the game giving 100%. Score 2-2
There were a few candidates for MOM notably Mikey, Hardworking and tenacious. But the vote went to James for not turning into the incredible Hulk and getting carded, I even saw him shake someone`s hand during the game hmmm new James! could be.
LOM was a bit easier votes went to Harry C for being so needy, but the winner was Bhav for an awesome aerial that went 20 foot up an 5 forward.
The M2s line up was strong and the addition of Paresh and Pearson further strengthened the squad. From the off, South dominated the game. The intensity and pure determination of the M2s could not be matched by Wisbech who were simply outclassed.
The goal scorers were as follows: Chalky/Pearson/Ash bagged two goals each and Nik/Menzies grabbed one goal each. There was almost another goal for South but this was surprisingly disallowed. Pearson chested the ball down and fed the ball to Blair who tucked it away. Blair celebrated it like he’d won the champions league final but this was short lived as the decision had been turned over and a sixteen was given.
Moving on I think that Blair’s attire needs a mentioning. The combination of his tucked in shirt into his high waisted shorts (Lee Cattermole-esque) was some what questionable. It’s probably also worth mentioning that we’d found a wild Menzies lying down on his own in the changing room pre game. The struggle was real. Shout out to the skipper Coops for sacking off the M2s to look at wedding venues. Shocking behaviour!
A special mention to Chalky who took a deflection to the Crown Jewels like a champ and to Pearson for reaching his 99th goal for the club. South conceded two goals goals from short corners which was unfortunate and led to the final score being 8-2. Man of the Match was shared three ways between Nik, Paresh and Puddefoot. Lemon of the match was a close call between Anns and Nik. Anns for bottling to take the penalty flick but Nik took the deciding vote for losing his shoe mid run. He needs to learn how to tie his laces. Overall the M2s had a superb game and the battle for promotion continues.
South 3's took on their relegation rivals City of Peterborough in a must-win battle for 3 crucial Division 4NW points. The winner would be guaranteed out of the bottom two with the loser hoping on other results. After letting a two goal lead slip earlier in the season at Fortress Long Road, it was vital the focus remained high for the whole 70 minutes this time around.
The early moments were played at a high pace with both sides eager to assert authority. The M3's got off to a great start when Dan Loy found some space in the D to shovel a ball under the COP Goalie. It would probably have made it over the line, but Nev Warren made sure with a delicate jab from two yards out. Ash Dookun may be gone, but his goal stealing exploits are never forgotten.
Determined to outdo Nev, Pip Ho took the goal stealing art to a higher level when Ollie Kenzie single handedly walked around the COP defence and goalkeeper to roll the ball goal-wards for his first strike of the season. Pip decided that help was required from one yard out. 2-0 to the South.
Rob Hartle then showed that you need to be good when finishing in this team and casually flicked the ball with speed and accuracy over the outstretched goalie. No chance anyone was nicking that one.
At Half-time, stand-in captain for the day Seb Diaz stated some fine points about the delegation of captain duties and let the exotic Haribo Oven had procured from foreign climes seep into the tired bloodstreams of the ever faithful listening team. NBM, George Oven and Nev tried not to confuse matters but probably did with their not so concise "opinions"!
Peterborough upped their efforts in the second half and it was only a resolute defence of Neil "kit man" Snead, Sev "Grumpy man" Warren and George "Ladies man?" Toynton that kept the goal safe from scoring efforts. George in fact had a great game in goal and secured MOM for his efforts.
Oven turned on a tuppence and flicked a crafty shot to make the score 4-0. Pash wound up and smashed the ball into the top corner for the Peterborough GK to pull off an outstanding save. Rob , Pip and NBM controlled the midfield for the rest of the game as the three points traveled home with the away team.
*Side note - There are times when you have a slight problem that when assisted by others snowballs into something massive. When preparing for a match that came after a weeks holiday with remnants of a chest infection, you would normally congratulate the athlete for a remedial sauna/steam room to promote healthy benefits for the upcoming fixture. Placing your towel on toasty warm radiator before bedtime, would normally mean that you take the warm towel to the game the next day. The Warren family conspired against Nev Warren. Margaret Warren knocked off the towel in order to dry "More important stuff". Kasper Warren hid said towel on his play cooker out of plain sight. The only alternative was to take the face towel/flannel when setting off. This was not a decent choice. Particularly, after returning from the shower to find Sev Warren had used it first as he had "forgotten to bring his towel". It would have been drier had I had thrown it it a bath! Lemon worthy indeed!
South 4ths were edged out by Spalding despite taking the lead twice.
The opening goal came early on from a South penalty corner, Jason James sending his flicked shot high to the ‘keepers left hand side. South then had a decent amount of pressure but didn’t add to their advantage and were pegged back, only to take the lead again rapidly when Jo Dant was on hand to knock home a rebound from another penalty corner.
Spalding equalised again, and then took the lead for the first time late on in the match when South overcommitted to the attack on a long corner, giving the hosts space for a decisive counter-attack.
Numbers were never going to be a problem this week with so many keen to repeat our early season victory against Wisbech but on home territory this time. Thanks to those who kindly agreed to step aside this weekend or make the 3-day round trip to Spalding with the M4s!
Once the usual late afternoon lethargy had been overcome the home team found their groove and started to pressurise the Wisbech defence and our efforts were soon rewarded with an early short corner which MoM Simon T fired into the top corner of the net with deadly precision. The South midfield and forwards continued to press and one such attack ended with Howard S scooping the ball from underneath the grounded Wisbech keeper towards John G waiting to unleash a very elegant reverse sweep into the unprotected goal. Another skillful strike from Rupert E left the home team with a comfortable three goal lead at half-time.
The second half started with one of the Wisbech players taking a nasty blow to the side of the head from a deflected Simon T shot. After a visit to our on-site A&E department we understand he is absolutely fine and very proud of his wound!
Another Simon T strike found Howard S lurking in front of goal ready to instinctively deflect the ball into an open goal and deprive his fellow midfielder of what would have been a well deserved hat trick for which the former received several equally well deserved LoM votes!
Despite some opposition adventures into the South D which were skillfully neutralised by our defence and some instinctive saves from keeper Micheal G, the home team continued to dominate for the remainder of the second half with further goals from Simon T and the irrepressible Rob B.
MoM overwhelmingly went to Simon T for an outstanding performance that helped inspire a famous M5s victory.
LoM went to John G for tying his legs in knots with an opponent's stick and ending up face down on the astro.
Our unbeaten record in 2019 continues!
A request for this match report was from good old Al Pal Wright herself, 'I'm leaving so I hope I feature heavily in the report'- basically Alice Wright please don't go. It just won't be the same without you. I bet Alice Walker wouldn't have abandoned ship half way through the season.
Secondly I would just like to clarify that MOM votes do not cancel out LOM votes. So despite her cracking play on the forward line , moving well and creating space - Maddy B also won herself joint LOM for saving ALice H's goal. Sorry, 'deflecting it into the corner'.
I'm only bitter Maddy because now I have to write the match report...
The match was a bit of a tough one, physically and mentally. The Pelicans gave us a good fight and we tried hard to get that silly wee ball into that silly wee goal. But it just wouldn't happen. The first half was nil all, a few tumbles -unprovoked but amusingly dramatic Alice H and Flo winning the oscars in that category.
Katie 'it's so annoying' Gibson on the other hand was uncontested for winning the VMA and LOM for 'best female artist' from amongst the south side. We expect her debut album 'blackout rage' to hit the shelves just in time for Christmas 2019, 'angry fist' dance move not included. Her musical talents were not wasted however as I reckon they pushed the girls on to get their 1 -0 win over the Pelicans.
This is how it went, some great defence from MOM nominee Blythe often found galloping up the wing to create pace and open attacking play. Captain Robyn unfortunately had to withdraw from the event after breaking her thumb in the first half. Alice Wright decided to set the score even and took a flying shot through the air- straight at the height of a pelican defender - it's not tennis Alice buddy.
There were a few tense moments when Pelicans got a speedy break , but Kim (another MOM nominee entitled ' holding her own at the back with great distribution'). The winner of the overall award of MOM was joint Robyn Murray and Blythe. Robyn Murray herself scoring the one and only goal of this 70 minute awards season. It came after some hard work with Alice Wright and her exciting play. The ball made it to the D, no one really knew if south would come away with a goal but silky skills from Robs Murray nipped it past the keeper to win the game.
That's all from the red carpet (green Astro) this week, tune in next time for more from the L1's.
Most of the team started the day feeling fresh, up early, in time for breakfast and to be at the pitch on time. I on the other hand, woke up to a video of an excited Harley Joe racing around H’s house and what some might call a slight hangover.
We assembled in the changing rooms, discussed tactics, came up with a master plan and had a whole team discussion as to whether it was cold enough for a skin.
We spent the first ten minutes of the game running around with most of the possession but doing very little to create chances. The turning point came when we won a short corner and I scored from a straight strike. We settled in to the game after this, and converted again after Jenny intercepted the ball drove into the D, hit the ball to Hannah who deflected the ball in at waist height. We finished the first half three nil up after another drive forward by the midfield, and a reverse sweep over the keeper by me.
The message from Paul at half time was clear, communication and keep moving the ball around. We had the better of St Ives in terms of fitness and needed to exploit that.
We did as Paul said and the second half came with 5 more goals. The defensive line of Ellie, H, Nic, Jenny and Lauren held the back to shutdown each of St Ives’ breaks to keep a clean sheet. Louise’s only touch of the ball was collecting it from the corner after it went off. Our fourth goal came from a shot in by Jess which I deflected on the reverse through the keepers legs. The fifth was another combination of Jenny taking the ball around 4 players and crossing it to Hannah to tap in. The sixth came from Dani who pushed the ball past the keeper. Goal number seven was from another drive by the midfield, a cross in, a bit of a scramble and a slap by me into the goal. Rebecca rounded off the scoring after being set up by Hannah to make it eight nil.
We put in a strong performance and the score reflects it. Jenny won Man of the Match for her distribution and hard work in the middle. Jess had two Lemon votes for a particularly dramatic fall (flailing legs and all), but the overall Lemon was me, as a result of a number of errors. The first of which was arriving hungover, the second was trying to kick the ball in to the goal instead of using my stick and the third was losing control of my stick and throwing it across the pitch after trying to make an abysmal tackle.
The team headed off for an early start in Bury, to face their closest opposition in the league. The early rise appeared a little too early for Charlotte who forgot her stick bag in the excitement to get to the pitch on time. However, with the rest of the team raring to go, they roared onto the pitch and got off to a strong start.
Very evenly matched, both teams played some great hockey in the first half, but no breakthroughs. On to the second half and Grace took a tumble...over her own feet, Ani hit someone on the floor and Erin had some very near misses on goal. However disaster struck in the last 3 minutes when Bury had a rare shot on goal and hit the back boards despite Ana’s fabulous goalkeeping throughout the game! With minutes to spare the team shot back up the pitch, some excellent hockey was played, Jas was as awesome as ever at nipping around their players and creating opportunities (earning her a well deserved MOM) and finally Erin struck gold with her debut goal for South and our crucial equaliser!! The fans went wild (the team and Charlotte’s mum on the sideline) for the most glorious draw of the season!
The post match excitement led Charlotte to have a second forgetful moment of the day, leaving her phone at teas, therefore securing herself LOM status.
The weekend really started post training on Thursday night with a trip to the pub and the creation of Bhavs Babes a collaborative spotify playlist featuring all the cheesiest tunes. On request I spent my Friday lunch break buying any variation of percy pigs that were in the hospital (4 bags would be enough right?) While Harriets Saturday started with a trip to argos to get a portable Bluetooth speaker, my day started with bacon rolls- therefore saving everyone from my poached egg predictions again (which were just a week early). On arrival to Long Road Harriet very excitedly got out the world’s biggest portable speaker which on closer inspection we discovered it was in fact a bluetooth speaker but definitely not portable. Therefore winning her joint LOM.
We arrived to Stevenage full of energy and excitement and with about an hour to warm up. We took carpool karaoke (obviously to the best playlist going) from the car to the pitch with some interesting moves (the boomerangs that didn’t make it onto insta speak for themselves). The game started strong with some really good play from both teams, but South’s communication and drive and the buzz from Jess’ first goal keep spirits high along with the continued singing and chants from the side lines. Stevenage made some good breaks but Ginny, Katie, Eloise and Lydia were always there to stop them. The second goal scored by Tess who seems to have found a new position going from defence to forward.
With a quick halftime talk, 4 bags of Percy pigs and oranges we were well fuelled for the second half. We started strong fired up from the Percy pigs and with a win in sight we weren’t about to calm down but nor were Stevenage. I narrowly avoided a head injury with my crazy quick reactions taking a stick to the shoulder, my biggest achievement of the season was not crying on the pitch (apparently you can’t vote yourself MOM for this). Everyone is now getting daily updates on my arm whether they like it or not. Sorry not sorry. Don’t remember much after this as was still focusing on keeping my tears inside but Jess scored another goal with some great passes from the mids. Ending the game 3-1 to us, a very excited, sugar hyped, and slightly injured team. We proceeded to a very lovely teas in which my tears finally spilled over resulting in votes for LOM.
All the best things come in twos so we had both joint MOM and LOM this week with MOM going to Katie for some amazing play, great passes and being an all-round winner and Jess for scoring two of those all important goals. Votes also went to Ellen, Nicole and Tess (apparently mine didn’t count).
A special thank you to Rob for being the timer/phone holder/boomerang taker/Harriets MOM (therefore winning her more LOM votes). Apparently you can’t vote for yourself or significant other for MOM, therefore ending with us as joint LOM.
Calories burned: 1100 (just about enough for Zara to down a bottle of Caribbean Twist before the social)
p.s. we're currently working on a L4s montage... watch this space