We blast one past Edgbaston .....
... but it’s not enough, as league leaders put Sils to the sword (on this occasion)
The Mighty IVs had 13 against top of the table, Edgbaston, on Saturday, a welcome luxury as the past few weeks have seen various club priorities necessitate the 4th team working with skeleton crews. Buoyed by the previous week’s result and with just the right level of optimism, the Sils arrived at Edgbaston. We knew it was going to be a tough game – so far, this season, it would be challenging to find one that hasn’t been – but the fighting spirit was strong and the Mighty IVs were ready for it.
In the interest of positivity, and some might say convenience – let’s get the trivial bit out of the way: We lost 9-1. There, say it quickly and it doesn’t sound so bad. Now onto the far more important bits of the game.
The Sils found themselves under pressure right from the off, with Edgbaston pushing high right from the back line. They were able to move the ball around quickly and punished us at every opportunity if we failed to pick up the spare man. It wasn’t long before Edge won their first long corner. This turned into a short corner and, after one of many tremendous saves by Yogi, the ball fell to an Edgbaston attacker who opened the scoring.
Sils showed real promise at points with some great passing play, allowing us to move forward and provide pressure of our own. We were able to hold the hosts at bay for long periods in the 1st half with sensational defending from the entire back line, Steve Aylin and Yogi both putting in blinding shifts as sentinels for the Mighty IVs. Yogi continued to keep the score down with excellent work between the sticks, at one point deflecting a shot onto his own crossbar from a fearsome Edgbaston shot. By half time, the constant attrition from Edge saw the score sitting at 3-0.
The 2nd half started but Sils didn’t, conceding two more in a little under three minutes. After some inimitable rallying from Shaun in central midfield, we were able to pick back up again played some great simple hockey to build pressure on the Edgbaston defence. One such sequence slowed Rushy to drive into the Edgbaston circle, beat his marker and slot past the keeper.
Seemingly invigorated by conceding, Edge were right back on the offensive, pressing high and forcing more great tackles and saves by the Sils back line, including a phenomenal stop by Mick Lane, on the line. We were able to string together some good offensive play and win a couple of short corners that unfortunately we weren’t able to convert.
The final score was the final score but amongst the battle weary IVs, there were plenty of smiling faces because, despite the result, we kept going, we kept moving forward. The team spirit that has become synonymous with the Mighty IVs, is alive and well. There’s more to this game than results (luckily), there’s passion (calm down Keith), camaraderie, determination and sheer grit. All of which the IVs have in spades
May sound trite to talk of a number of good performances given the score line but it’s true to say that:
1. Jack Morris had his best game of the season - work rate and commitment unleashed his real potential. Same again please every Saturday from now on.
2. Steve Aylin - fresh from a sterling performance from the Vets on Wednesday - played the best game that I’ve seen from him in the 4.5 years that I’ve played M4.
3. Charlie Russell showed composure beyond his years, and grew in stature through the second 35.
4. The commitment from the front two - Rushy & Keith - was again superb. Not easy when chances were few and far between so it was a sweet moment when Andy rounded off a great move to ensure that Edge couldn’t include a clean sheet in the spoils that they took from the game.
5. Yogi continues to impress with his shot-stopping.
Let’s keep going lads - our first points are just around the corner. Next up are Warwick.