A tense bottom of the table clash ends with honours even.
This was a very good game between two evenly matched sides that were looking for a win. In the end a draw was perhaps a fair result but which side came away the most disappointed? Read on …
This was an unusually late start for the 4s played under the flood lights in freezing conditions. Before the game even started we had the usual ‘white ball – orange ball debate’. It is difficult to see a ball of any colour under the lights but two of ours opted for white with the rest of the squad favouring orange. Guess what colour we played with? Answers in white ink on a white postcard addressed to John and Yogi, terms and conditions apply!
Bromsgrove got off to a good start and scored an early goal. This set back didn’t unsettle the Sils and they began applying increasing pressure on the Bromsgrove defence. Great work from Steve Tabb in the centre and John Harrison on the right led to a series of short corners. The first two looked promising with Andy firing in a couple of good shots. In the third, a fast and accurate injection from John was deftly slipped left by Andy to Steve Tabb and he fired a beautifully controlled and accurate flick into the back off the net.
Both sides were playing good hockey with increasing intensity in an evenly balanced game. There is no doubt that both sides were going all out for a win and, after playing so well, it was gut wrenching when Bromsgrove scored just before half time to take the lead.
During the half-time break the general feeling was that, despite being a goal down, we were playing well enough to win the game. More effort and fewer mistakes would be enough to tip the balance in our favour.
With that in mind everyone started the second half with an even stronger sense of purpose and determination. The defence really raised their game. Yogi pulled of a couple of great saves and Sam Teal, Dave Higgins and Charlie Russell frustrated their attackers with some gutsy and determined play. It was great to watch. The restorative powers of a week’s hair growth had Steve Aylin playing at his best. Picking up the ball with his long reach and distributing it with great accuracy. The stand out player at the back though, was Jack Morris. Darting in all over the place to make great tackles and breaking down their attacking runs time and again. Best game yet and definitely his position.
With Shaun Bates shouting directions from the side we really tightened up our positional play, making it much more difficult for Bromsgrove to break through and much easier for us to press forward. By now we were playing much better. Steve was dominant in the centre and John always looked dangerous down the right… John always looks dangerous! James was puffing and blowing down the left with his now trade mark crab like runs. They found him difficult to deal with and we were definitely on the up.
Alex Milne was very industrious in the middle and his pace and skill was proving a real problem for Bromsgrove. His incisive runs and sharp passing added strength to our attacks and it came as no surprise when Andy superbly manufactured our second goal to make it two each. He is such a good player.
Bromsgrove were still very much in the game and pressed forward at every opportunity but great running and effort by Jacob Webb meant that we always had an outlet for recycling the ball.
Determined to find the winning goal, Sils piled on the pressure. Andy, attacking from our right, forced his way into the D, drew the goalkeeper towards him, and then fired a superbly accurate pass across the goalmouth to young Keith Willetts who made no mistake in slamming the ball home to take the lead.
Sils kept pressing in search of another goal to increase their lead but Bromsgrove fought back and scored a well-earned late goal to secure a draw.
This was a fair result between two evenly matched sides but Bromsgrove definitely felt relief at getting a draw while Sils came away disappointed at not having won.
This was a great performance from the Mighty 4s and everyone can be proud of the effort they put in.
Next week we are away to third place Worcester 7s at 1pm in daylight, white or Orange?
Man of the Match. Jack Morris
Quote from goalkeeper Yogi. “The goal that went in that I saved…”???
Now that’s really is positive thinking!
Alex Willets had parked next to one of those low diamond shaped enclosures spread around the car park that surround mysterious holes. (presumably for lights or trees or Yogi’s old kit). In his hurry to leave he drove forward into one of the holes leaving his car firmly stuck on the suspension. This tricky situation called for all hands on deck so a group of hockey and rugby players in suits clubbed together and came to the rescue. So it was that a sweeper, winger, centre forward, flanker, tight prop, hooker and drag queen lifted the car level and with a hearty push cleared it out of the hole. It was no big deal but with congratulations all round and in spades the Samaritan pack shuffled off into the night. The Jack offered by Yogi didn’t come in to play.
Seriously guys, Alex sends his thanks and was very grateful for your help in getting him out of a hole.