Men's 6s Hang on for Victory
By Howard Corney
Men’s 6s 2 - 1 Chertsey Thames Valley M1s
Player of the Match: Jack Crowther
Pouring rain and Tony Haycroft back in goal. The hockey season felt it had finally started for real (although Pies is still missing in action on the golf course so please direct him to Sugden Rd if you see him).
We began our third league game of the season with debuts for Dean Mallinson and Alfie Westley as we looked to bounce back after last week’s defeat to Cranleigh. Although still very early in the season there was a sense that we needed to take all three points against a side who had lost their opening fixtures.
The first half was a frustration. We played pretty well from the outset but failed to convert any of our numerous chances. In fact our short corner routine which had been so deadly over recent weeks had a total melt down as we squandered seven short corners in the first 35 minutes. Despite our dominance Chertsey were still in the game and created a few chances on the break with some swift counter attacks keeping our defence on its toes.
The second half was also a dogged affair as Chertsey closed ranks. But Surbiton continued to probe and press and finally we managed to break the deadlock with a well deserved debut goal from Alfie. We then doubled our lead on short corner number ten (ish) - Jacko slotted home after some composed decision making in the D gave him time to strike into the corner to make it 2-0.
If only that was it, but rather than close ranks and finish the game off we lost our composure and allowed Chertsey back into the game. Tony deftly removed their centre forward from one dangerous looking attack but it was not long before we gave Chertsey a sniff of an undeserved draw as they pulled one back when switched off when a quickly taken free hit caught our defence by surprise.
Thank goodness we made it to the final whistle with no further setbacks. Any other result would have been a travesty...