An outstanding game played at Long Road between a selection of great blokes on Saturday ended with a two-nil win for the 2s. It wasn’t domination from the 2s, as both sides came to play hockey and do their upmost to win.
Buoyed by watching the L3s give runaway champs the L2s a tough test in the preceding game, the M3s wanted to take that momentum of the underdog with them - however, it was the M2s who came out of the blocks quicker and dominated the early stages.
Capn’ Coops was keen for the game to be taken to the 3s in the early stages - Jack Chalk took the words to heart, and straight from the kick off headed directly for the opposing captain and donked him on the head with his stick. Which would not be exactly what Coops had in mind but no serious harm was done so we carried on.
A couple of chances came and went but it wasn’t long before the first goal came – after a period of sustained pressure where all the midfield chaps were involved, Nik especially causing uncertainly in the visitors’ defence (as the 3s were the away side) with incisive passing. The ball fell to Jack, and I am not sure what he did or how he did it – but the ball bounced up, popped off George’s head, and was going into the goal. Now, depending on your point of view I either a) ensured the ball crossed the line before any on-rushing defender could save it, b) whacked it in from a centimetre out stealing the goal from Mr Chalk, c) didn’t actually score at all as it was already over the line. Those are the opinions of myself, Coops and Jack respectively. In all honesty, option b was the closest to reality.
The game settled into a close encounter with both sides probing without finding a killer blow. The M2s were probably having the better of the chances, but there was not much in it. One particular great moment was a mazy run from Peter Creed as he got the ball on the left on his own twenty-three metre line and beat two or three challenges, waltzing out of trouble before being stopped by an ‘experienced’ tackle from Coops (I realise this is a play from the 3s but it was good to see from the young man).
Another bit of good play from the 3s nearly got them level. Making use of some space they found on the left of the pitch, an attack led to a fantastic opportunity for Ed B – however, he found The Saint in fine form. He wasn’t giving up that clean sheet and ably repelled several shots with the feet and then stood tall to bat away a couple of cheeky lob attempts.
Half time and one-nil to the 2s – an even game and all to play for.
The second half was more of an end to end battle as the conditions and the excitement of the occasion drained the energy levels. Again, the 2s edged it on possession and chances. The 3s were not without chances of their own but MSG was resilient, ably assisted by the defence.
As the half wore on the 2s started to gain a hold on the play – and doubled the lead with a well worked short corner. Who needs training and practising when devising and discussing at the top of the D just before seems to work fine. Back to the injector to tap across for the knock in. Coops to Jack (for his first of the game) - simple but effective.
The opposition goalkeeper did make a couple of great saves, denying both Jack and Manny from adding to the total. Also Kerny did pick out a through ball after a typical slaloming, driving run from Manny, when at the end all the forwards ran to the back post and there was no-one on the P spot for the tap home.
Another short was won at the final whistle for a robust challenge (one I will not give any details to, as it does not deserve any). Determined to make a point, Anns barkingly declared we should be ending on a high, firing the troops up, big push at the end – only to miscontrol the push out and have the game actually end on a bit of an anti-climax.
Three cheers and handshakes – in what was a good game by committed CSHC players.
Cheers to Steve and John for umpiring.