Men’s 2s Concede Last Ditch Goal to Draw at Neston
The Men’s 2s had a difficult match away at Neston 2s, probably the best team in the division. Fortunately we were able to welcome back Andrew Duncalf and Paul Harley (Stiggy and Ciggy) together with Will Chambers.
Neston started strongly and won a flick within a couple of minutes as a free man in the D shot into the corner, and Rob Thomas running back managed to get in of the way of it, but only with his feet. This was dispatched, and Neston had most of the pressure for the first 10 minutes, but the defence was solid and there were no other real chances. We then scored – an excellent breakaway finished by Owen Jones. The rest of the half was very even, a good quality game of hockey, mainly played in midfield, and when Neston’s attack got through, the defence was on top form. Rob Thomas, back in his best position at centre back played well, marred only by an ‘aerial’ sent slowly at chest high straight to their centre forward, who set up a chance that his team-mate just managed to fire first at my feet then the rebound at my shoulder but we were able to clear. Our best chance came when Jorge Mowinckel Sagnier managed to shoot while facing away from goal, but the ball went just the wrong side of the post. I can’t remember our second goal, or even when it came (I really should pay more attention to the game), but it came after great work from Jorge and good determination from OJ to force the ball in (description courtesy of Ciggy). Or possibly after a pass from Jorge found OJ, and he brilliantly knocked it round the keeper and went past and put it into the net (description courtesy of OJ). Chambo still claimed the goal from the bench.
However it happened, 2-1 at half time meant we knew they were going to put pressure on in the second half. Which they did, but we were strong and by no means overrun, and we continued to look dangerous, although I was required to make a few more saves. Eddy Jackson, playing his first game in a month, tackled strongly, but at times found the pace tough, and decided for a while to mark the corner flag as it ran around less. Neston were more and more agitated, and with a minutes left the pressure told as a flick from a yard was stopped only by Peter Tod’s chest, and the p-flick was well put away.
Very shortly after that and the final whistle went, and the mixed emotions of disappointment of not holding on and a great performance in a good game were evident. After a little delay for food, MoM and DoD were decided. I got MoM, and Rob and Will Preece shared DoD, Rob for setting up 3 good chances for them by passing straight to the forward, and Will for borrowing a shirt, then finding after the match that he had brought his after all, while OJ got several votes for getting a strop-on when substituted. (Jorge asked what a straop-on was, and surprised by the answer – OJ definitely got his vote if he’d had one of those when substituted). Remarkably Chambo didn’t get many votes, despite being an hour late for training on Thursday, thus leaving us without balls or training equipment, because he thought it was a Wednesday. How he runs a business, I have no idea.
Two games left, hopefully we can continue to play well and surpass our recent high of 28 pts in this division,