Off the back of a disappointing three-three draw at the beach in St Ives, South were eager to bounce back in this warm and windy contest at Long Road. An insightful team talk from Stu and Harry Chalk, the latter telling the team that, ‘The oppo like to come into the D and shoot,’ and we were ready for the match.
The game was a close affair during the first fifteen minutes. Both teams enjoyed possession but no clear-cut chances. Chances were limited mainly thanks to the South defence, especially the ‘long arms’ of Tom Rosselli. Joel’s choice of birthday breakfast must have given him some form of boost even if it was a questionable selection. It was the Dragons that struck first; a short corner routine which ricocheted of Stu’s leg on its way into the goal. This was the first time this season where South had fallen behind in a league match – a comeback was essential. South struck back before the first half finished; a well worked move from Harry Lewis and Ollie found Owen, who tapped in a reverse to level up the score. The competition stayed hot up until the half time whistle.
A revved-up South side were ready to take their game up a few gears. First a short corner routine of our own, Benares Kemsley firing a dragflick past the static defence. Next, another well worked routine ending in the same outcome as the first goal: Ollie providing the assist for Owen to deflect into the far corner to make it three-one. With some breathing space, it allowed South to control the game without losing a two goal lead. The fourth goal came quite unexpectedly to the scorer, as well as the rest of the players present. A mazy run from Kemsley gave him enough room to fire a looped reverse strike over the goalie and into the far top corner. Quite the spectacle even if it wasn’t his first intention.
As if four goals wasn’t enough, South added another to complete the five star performance. Another flowing routine from South followed by a ball to the back post, which found an unmarked Ollie who couldn’t miss. There were some late amateur dramatics from our very own Pearson and James but no further goals were to come from this game. A promising performance from South sets them up for a highly-contested derby against the Nomads next week – bring it on!
This is the day it all clicked. Not the result, which was hard fought, but the Cambridge South 2s’ creaking into that comfortable fourth position in the league, like a pair of your favourite slippers. The most typical M2s’ game quite possibly ever.
Late push back, better put this to bed early doors. Get a short. Ash flicks it into the bottom corner: one-nil. Job done, can we go home? Wait, there are sixty-nine more minutes to play? Oh well.
Kettering do some attacking, we do some defending. We do some attacking, they do some defending. I am sure that you have read something similar before: just re-read that. How many people actually read these anyway? Half-time.
Paul talks about the triple F. He even remembers what two of the Fs stand for (First, Forward, Feast?) Coops gives the speech: keep the ball, go forward, try to score, try not to concede. Jack is not listening…
Early doors in the second half, another short to South and a near-identical flick. Can we go yet, it’s really hot and very windy and we already had one goal? Lots of feet involved, p-flick given.
Coops to Jack, ‘You got this?’ ‘Yes, just like you said at half time - “Try not to score.”’ Coops gives a quizzical smile. A simple matter of just passing to the goalie. Oh no, it’s slightly off the ground and not quite straight to his feet… Don’t worry, he adjusted, diving to get his glove on it.
Sixteen straight to centre forward, clumsy tackle, short corner, goal. Ah, now we are not winning. Should probably try and do something about this.
South have to put in some effort now, despite the wind and the heat. The new youngsters, Dave, Alex Catley (by the way, why does your mum and everyone else call you Adam when you are clearly Alex on the website?)* and Oli join the younger old youngsters, Dom and Tom, taking the game to Kettering but it is old codger James Menzies on his return, fresh from his hip op, that drives along the base line beating two/three/some players to pull the ball pack to the penalty spot. Jack has taken up residence as per usual and pushes it under the goalie. Couldn’t he have just done that ten minutes ago…?
Still some time to go to get the regular M2s’ things out the way. Dom has not added a little green plastic triangle to his collection this game. He tries very hard to get one and sulks instead before he is subbed off.
We still need a great chance gone begging. Ah, a quick break. Jack is wide on the half way line, he can’t run into this wind so passes to Oli, bombing it forward. Everyone expects some flair here, one-on-one with the keeper. Will it be a spin, a cheeky lob or an outrageous nutmeg using the stick handle? Wow, he has hit that hard, shame the goalie was in the way.
Right, five to go, how do we safely see out a game? Oh, that’s right, just waste time giving short corners away until the final whistle. This is always a good tactic as it surprises the opposition so they do not really know what to do. Four of these should do and so it does. Game over, time to go get some pizza and listen to Tom mumble through the reading of the post-match votes. Same again next week boys.
* Editor’s note: now corrected
Editors note: As is customary in the M3s, the ‘Lemon of the Match’ has to write the match report. Accordingly, Alex B didn’t turn up to the match so he received the lion’s share of the votes with nine. However, this would make for a dull match report as he wasn’t there. Fortunately voting was not unanimous and #2 Lemon was Pash’s girlfriend (one vote). Now, we think this is a bit harsh as she really didn’t do anything wrong. But I guess there’s a lesson here somewhere. If you turn up to spectate at a match and your team is losing eight-nil…cheer louder…encourage more…essentially…support better?? Anyway, rules are rules. Luckily for the M3s, Pash’s girlfriend both a) keeps a diary and b) is forgetful of her belongings and left her diary by the side of the pitch. Who would have thought it? Very convenient…
Excerpt from a pink and sparkly diary:
Saturday, 13 October 2018
10.00am – Avocado prices are EXTORTIONATE now - never buy from the Co-op. WTF. Who do they think they are? I’ll just grow my own. Seriously. I liked avocados before this stupid hipster trend.
11.00am – Remind Pash that a toilet seat was invented for a reason.
1.45pm - I arrive at the pitch, dragged by my unloving boyfriend. Northern blood runs through him just like his Dad… On a side note, it’s actually a funny story about how we met and quite relevant to hockey. More than you know: he used to be a Jaegerboy. What this essentially meant is that he went round clubs fluttering his eyelashes and persuading drunk girls to buy Jaeger shots. He had me at Jaeger shots. He almost lost me with his accent; he sealed the deal with his story about his hockey prowess and a little trophy he carried in his pocket. Well, that’s what he called it anyway.
Note to Alex - Based on today’s performance it was a lie. A big FAT lie. Eight-nil. I’ve had to put him in the dog house. We don’t even own a dog.
2pm - Whilst I stand around waiting for my boyfriend to do his stretches I can’t help but notice a man in the corner of my eye, a strange looking man but nevertheless his alpha-maleness attracts me to him. I’ve never experienced it before: how can this golem-looking man secrete what I can only assume are pheromones of the Greek gods? He kneels down and unzips his sac, pausing, like how a gazelle knows it’s in the eyes of the predator. He pulls something out of his sac, slowly. It’s long, girthy and…oh my. It looks hard. How can he handle it, I wonder? The length dwarfs my boyfriend’s equipment, but I must be loyal, I must… My thoughts drift again a little later in the match. More on that later.
3pm – The game starts and it’s poor. Five-nil at half time. The CSHC striker seems to have overdosed on Lemsip prior to the match and looks back at the onslaught against his defenders with a glint of PTSD. The defenders appear to try their best. All is lost…all is lost. Oh my God, someone please save them and blow the full-time whistle. Their tiny (?) corners are woeful too, with nine chances going unconverted.
4pm - The game ends. Thankfully the whistle blows at eight-nil as 10½ men grudgingly walk off the pitch (one had only one leg working at the end, his teammates called him, ‘Neil’). And quickly my thoughts drift back to golem-boy. It turns out the man with the large girthy length stick and Greek-god pheromones is called ‘George’ by his teammates. They seem to take pity on him for letting in eight goals, as was confirmed later at teas by ‘Man of the Match’: 2 votes. He’s a keeper, ladies. Ah, that explains his long hockey stick. I make a mental note, keepers are…well, keepers!
I reflect on my day. Four hours in the car and seventy minutes of hockey contributing to nothing but a miserable boyfriend. Oh well. There’s always next week, they all say. They’re obviously delusional. Apparently their captain ‘Matt’ had a brain injury last week from a ball to the face. Figures, because there’s no chance they can win a match with a performance like that. Except from that golem guy. He could do anyone…I mean *anything* He could do anything.
Note to future self - DO NOT EVER AGAIN attend to support Pash. I hear afterwards they even voted me ‘Lemon’. The cheek. A#$£holes.
Photos from the day from the actual M3s:
Joe’s pre-match cocktail.
George’s post-match meal.
Harry Potter’s post-match sorrow. Photo courtesy of Sev
Match day early morning and WhatsApp starts its ritual ting ting-ing however this time it’s a flurry of messages from Jay Jay as he cracks his eyelids and for no rhyme or reason tries to insight panic and mayhem by declaring a new pushback start time, slowing to a panic and after consulting management aka Jan B it is determined to be as originally stated earlier on in the week… What a space cadet, I mean really!!!!
16 players ready and waiting to wage war… oh wait the M3’s just pillaged one of our best (Seb D such a hockey slut) nevertheless we push on still heavily loaded with tons of talent (hand me downs, JimJim’s, and guest appearance a younger un-sniper’d Tom South).
The opposition rolls in with 5min to go [editors note - did you try and nobble them as well???], South fully loaded and eager, hoping the opposition would be weary from a long journey and possibly down on man power due to the distance. We note only 11 players and no subs! Things are really looking up now and even better the weather, although not so favourable for either side with barely a breeze in the air and possibly the warmest day in weeks, we expect Louth to struggle (as will we) but we have number lots and lots of spare legs itching to have a run.
Louth until today have not conceded a single goal, we know it’s going to be tough, they haven’t just driven 3hrs to get whipped and if defeated they will make ruddy sure it was a well-earned defeat.
Cue Jay Jay’s now customary pre-match monolog “They may take the match result but they will never take our Fun” and on and on and on…. FFW whistle goes, everyone is playing hockey, subs are flowing which is diligently coordinated by our stand-in Couch/Team Manager AKA “I’m hit, I’m hit” Dr Paul South (stellar job Sir, thank you).
First half ends with South taking the lead, everyone agrees on one thing - for sure “OMG its “£$%^& hot”, lots of chatter with positive reassurance form one another the brotherhood is back in business ….let’s do this thing.
Second half and Louth pull things back by scoring a goal, well £$%^ this wasn’t in the script - no biggy let’s get on with things, both teams straining in the heat both teams want to win, none more so than South. I mean come on everything was stacked in our favour right? Frustrations set in as fouls and whistle blows not always going as expected or hoped, credit to the umpires the intensity was high and keeping things fair and flowing would have been a real challenge, even seasoned ones.
Its starts to rain green cards, and short corners and eyes almost getting poked out and ***BOOM*** Louth score a second, a ping goes out reminding South players that winning although beneficial is not our primary reason for playing hockey… we play for one another and we play for Fun.
The match ends we lose they win blah blah blah fish paste. Let’s eat pizza and drink beer.
Every single player from South M4s did more than their part, from the forwards Jimmy, Tom & Oli to the midfield John, James H, George W & Simon K to our defensive kings Pete, Jan, Dave, Andi C and MSG. But the one fella stood out on the day - new guy and MoM Oli Scott, unanimously voted such by literally every member of the squad. Everyone agrees he was a master, with huge work rate in the middle, solid tackling, magician like breaks, a real thorn on the oppositions side. Well Done Oli!
Captain's Log (supplemental): Despite conceding to Louth today we had fun, probably the best bunch of losers I ever had the privilege of playing hockey with, nothing is more rewarding than having team mates who commit their time and efforts irrespective of an outcome past, present and future, it speaks volumes in terms of their character.
The gathering storm clouds parted as we approached the One Leisure centre in St Ives, revealing a glimmer of blue sky. Was this a sign of an impending victory over old adversaries St Ives 4s……? Alas not.
This was always going to be a tough fixture on the back of the defeat at the hands of Nomads the previous weekend, who along with St Ives and Kettering probably represent the biggest barriers to a top-three finish for South in Div 6NW(S).
The home team definitely came out of the blocks looking the stronger, pushing into the South D with relative ease and were soon ahead courtesy of a well-struck shot from just outside the left post beating keeper Michael G. This was followed by a second from a deflected short corner, which debutante defender Luke B very nearly cleared off the line.
The opposition continued to press which gave South several opportunities to counter, but alas these were snuffed out by the well-drilled St Ives defence. The home team almost had a third as a ball trickled past the beaten South keeper and amazingly rolled the entire width of the goal line without going in. Fortunately the gods and the VAR were on our side and the goal wasn't given, but it wasn't long before a third did come.
The half-time motivational talk from Rob seemed to have the desired effect and South spirits were immediately lifted, communication was better and we started to show some of the intensity from games earlier in the season, but it was too little too late as St Ives grabbed a fourth, effectively ruling out any chance of South coming away with a point.
MoM was a close call between Garth W and Micheal G, both of whom undoubtedly helped keep the opposition score to a minimum.
Andy T was back on form in the LoM stakes…based largely on what he might have done rather than anything specific!
A sunny Saturday in October, the L1’s first contest was with the A14. After all South ladies arrived safely into Changing Room 4, Captain McLean revved up the team. Recounting the previous seasons St Ives match played in artic conditions – a half frozen, snow topped pitch. I’m not sure what was worse, the sun, wind and slow sandy pitch the L1s faced today, or the polar opposite ice rink last season where the ball actually travelled above 10mph.
Another good win for the L2s this week, two-nil against Cambridge Nomads 2s. Despite the rainy weather, we pulled it off! We were persistent from the start to the end with some solid play and teamwork from every player. We started a little slowly but when we finally pushed through the Nomads’ defenders, Dani A, after an amazing run up the wing, crossed it to Izzy MP who did a beautiful sweep into the goal. Not much later we got back into the Nomads’ D and Eimear did a stunning reverse flick making it two-nil before half time! The whistle blew for half time and we got a motivational talk from Paul, who kindly came to watch us play (in the rain, again!)
In the second half there was a lot more communication between us all and the intensity improved. Even though we battled the ball through into the Nomads’ defensive third a number of times we didn’t manage to sneak in another goal. Our defenders worked hard to clear anything that came their way and Louise made a cracking save off a deflected shot. Nomads made us work hard, and while it wasn’t our strongest performance we pulled together and got another win.
Men of the match were Jenny and Grace. Jenny for a fantastic and strong returning performance and Grace for being solid as usual. Izzy Ech got Lemon of the match for her teeny tiny water bottle!
The Ladies 3s were delighted to get their first victory of the season against St Neots, winning four-two. After a damp warm-up the rain thankfully stopped. Cambridge South made use of their faster legs and used lots of triangles to get round the slower, more experienced St Neots team. Cambridge South had most of the possession during the game, but St Neots made the most of breakthroughs and strong short corners hits.
Joint man of the match winner, Lauren B, scored the first goal which followed a scuffle in the D and a deflection off Rhi. The second goal came from a strong short corner hit from captain Laurie. The short corner came from the opposition using their head to prevent a goal! The Ladies 3s accidentally gave away a short corner at the end of the first half, from which St Neots scored.
The second half was a mirror of the first. Cambridge South's new team formation was seemingly working well. Marking was tighter this week thanks to training practices. Some lovely passes resulted in Becky finishing a play with a goal. Another scuffle in the D saw Lauren B pick up a shot from Rhi to score the fourth goal. St Neots' second goal came from a breakaway, which despite their best efforts the defenders and goalkeeper, Lou, couldn't prevent.
The big spread of man of the match votes shows the effort put in by the whole team. Jasmine's endless running and movement with the ball won her the joint man of the match with Lauren B. Janette won Lemon of the match for needing to take her driving test again, despite assuring Louisa that she was a good driver.
We had a bit of a stressful morning with a miscommunication resulting in two of our team members not turning up but we managed to get on the road and arrive at Bury with ten minutes to spare before the match.
After a quick practice we started the match in beautifully sunny 25 degree weather.
Unfortunately the first ten minutes was a blur of short corners given to Bury. Despite our best efforts their combined attack, especially their press, was too strong and resulted in three Bury goals in the first half.
Before going into the second half we had an uplifting team chat and discussed how we needed to be more ‘rowdy’ (as Ellen put it) and provide encouragement to the team. Thankfully this chat paid off and after a ball was set up by Nicky, Tess managed to strike it into the goal.
Although we did have a lot more possession in the second half, Bury managed to come back and score another four goals. One was scored after a penalty flick was given for Ellen being unable to stop herself running straight into a player. Another, unfortunately for Nicole, was deflected off her stick into the goal, but it was so perfect that I’m convinced she should be playing as a forward from now on!
We didn’t feel too disheartened after the match. As we start to get to know each other more and find our preferred positions, we will be back to play Bury with Nicole leading us as centre forward!
Calories burned: 713 cals. Clearly I couldn’t be bothered to run as much…probably because it was swelteringly hot this week!
No cake this weekend unfortunately, but Ellen has been nominated to bake next week for her lemon nomination.