Rush fo(u)r victory by Andy sends M4 top (for now)
Reporter Mick Lane
The first match of the second half of the season saw the welcome return of Shaun Bates after injury has kept him out for most of the season. Richard Fell returned to umpire his first game of the season after knee surgery, with Mike Bettridge on hand as substitute umpire following his own knee operation.
Following Dave Higgins’ urging the team to start strongly, the Sils did just that and most of the attacking moves were in the Redditch half for the first 10 minutes. Redditch, however, against the run of play, scored the opening goal following the award of a penalty flick in the 13th minute. Sils continued to apply pressure and it needed a good save on the line by a Redditch defender to prevent an equaliser from the Sils at the first short corner of the match in the 21st minute. A second short corner in the 25th minute led to the Sils equaliser when John Harrison pushed the ball out to Andy Rush who scored with a strong shot which Redditch were unable to keep out. The rest of the first half saw too much scrappy play and the energy of the attacking play shown in the first 10 minutes was missing perhaps as a result of the mid season break. Half time 1-1.
Following the half time team talk from Dave Higgins, Sils again started strongly and Tom Tyrer, in a one on one with the Redditch keeper saw his shot well saved. Another good move, full of slick passing, saw Tom Tyrer in the D get the ball through to Andy Rush who flicked the ball past the oncoming keeper into the net in the 39th minute – 2-1 to the Sils.
In the 44th minute, Redditch were awarded another penalty flick – it was the same taker but a great save from Yogi kept us in front.
Another short corner for the Sils, with good advantage played by Umpire Mike Bettridge, saw Andy Rush get his hat-trick with an excellent reverse stick shot in the 50th minute. Two minutes later a short corner conversion by Redditch (the initial shot was well saved by Yogi but the Redditch attacker was quickest to the rebound and scored with a reverse stick shot into the roof of the net) bought the score back to 3-2 to the Sils Redditch then equalised in the 54th minute in open play – 3-3. The scores were level for just over a minute as the Sils showed their resolve to regain the lead with a fourth goal from Andy Rush in the 55th minute. In just over 5 minutes, two goals had been scored by both sides!
End to end play continued and another attack by the Sils led to a further short corner being awarded, only to be followed by another short corner to Redditch. Too early a break from the skipper led to a banishment to half way but the re-taken short corner led to nothing.
Sils continued to press but there was no further scoring. A welcome win to the Sils.
It was a rusty performance from the Sils so there is room for improvement. With 14 players, substitutions needed to go, and did go, smoothly.
Whether it is the weather or just late notification of the Bromsgrove –v- Hampton game, we are top of the league. Long may it continue.
MOM : Andy Rush
Mentioned in dispatches : Tom Tyrer. A very assured display from a youngster who showed promise and a willingness to listen and learn. He also showed great maturity in laying off the ball to Rushy for the second goal, when many youngsters would have chanced an unsuccessful reverse stick shot instead. Well done Tom !