By Andre Tchakhotine
Vets suffered a surprise loss to a strong side in a jolly good game.
Pershore arrived at the home of midlands vets hockey with a surprisingly full and strong looking side. Glad to have an opposition the Sils took to the game with the desire and belief that typifies the old men of Copt Heath.
After ten minutes of possession by the home side the score remained 0-0 with resolute defending from the guests. The initial pressure soaked up Pershore started to build in confidence and mounted a number of their own attacks. Thanks to some clinical finishing the visitors were soon 2-0 up. Unfamiliar territory for Gary Perkins' check brigade who appeared to lose their way in the face of adversity. Still, a penalty corner opportunity came up and the slick practiced routine delivered a left sided strike goal from Andre Tchakhotine.
Unimpressed by a Sils resurgence Pershore pushed on with their counter attacking play and were rewarded twice to find themselves 4-1 up barely into the second half. Perseverantia was the moto for the Sils this evening (as tradition bestowes); this positive attitude resulted in turnover ball from a Pershore 15m hit. Neil Mortimer looped the ball over the Pershore defence for Tchakhotine to collect and drive towards the baseline and then rather than speculatively squaring the ball through an expectant defence he fired home through the keeper from inches away.
The men in maroon pushed on and put the ball in net twice more but both were disallowed. Once because the whistle had already blown for a Sils penalty corner and then Nick Oppenheimer his effort disallowed as the umpires conferred and concluded the keeper had been impeded from saving Nobby's strike.
Scorer then turned provider in a goal from the class of '78. Sam Stephen collected the ball in midfield, beat a couple of defenders and offloaded to Tchakhotine who found Mark Dovey in the D. The Fetherstone man turned deftly and coolly slipped the ball into the bottom corner with a reverse stick sweep.
3-4 at the final whistle of an enjoyably competitive game played in great spirit and umpired with aplomb by Ian Rosser and Matt Fell.