Cobras Strike Reigate for Five
By James Hamper
Cobras 5 - 0 Reigate Priory M5
Player of the Match: William Tsolo
This was the match that everyone had been looking forward to, the top of the table clash away from home that would probably decide the final league positions. All of a sudden I had a squad of 17 with everyone wanting to get in on the action. After some in depth video analysis and drawn out management discussions, it was decided that the colts would take the hit for the team and stand down to play with the Mongooses this week.
With an older (and wiser?) Cobras team we set out from Surbiton for the market town of Reigate, rendezvousing at their clubhouse to consolidate cars before heading to the local grammar school, our venue for the big match. I had made sure that we all arrived well before push back, to avoid any last minute chaos in the Reigate one way system, only to find an arctic breeze howling around the ground and any thoughts of a long warm up ended as the team scuttled off to the shelter of the disabled toilets.
After the friendly defeat to OK’s last week, Cobras needed to bounce back strongly in a must win game if we were to have any chance of getting back to the top of the table. Unfortunately either due to the cold weather, or lack of colts, we burst from the blocks like a snail who had left the handbrake on and were quickly under pressure as Reigate threw everything at us. But as the muscles started to warm up and the team settled into the game plan of keeping the ball, things started to fall into place. Even still it was deep into the first half before we managed to get on the scoreboard and it required a stunning diving deflection from Ollie Stacey to break the deadlock. The club really should think about videoing these lower league games, it is definitely where the magic is happening!
With the pressure released, the Cobras started playing some of their best hockey of the season and as the years rolled back, quickly started to dominate the game. With 90% of possession in the second half, the goals were coming at regular intervals and after MotM William Tsolo had sliced through from sweeper to get our second, goals for Alex McKee, Craig Schultz and Rich O’Connor followed shortly.
A fantastic afternoon’s hockey followed up with a few beers with the ever hospitable Priory team. What social hockey is all about!