Jokers Lose Out in Nine Goal Thriller
By Mark Frost
SHC Jokers 4 – 5 Spencer Men’s Vets
Team: Bashford, Burns, Draper, Dye, Foster, Frost, Hardy, Hey, Lloyd, Mallinson, Michael, Newton, Sait, Sayer, Stone
Scorers: James Burns (Jabba), Jason Foster
The Jokers returned to action hosting Spencer Men’s Vets, newly promoted back to Men’s Masters (O40's) Div 1. Following the disappointment of the narrow loss to Epsom in the opening game of the season, the Jokers went into this match with a large squad of players and with high hopes of securing the first points of the season.
The opening phase of the game went to plan. The Jokers dominated possession and James Burns' incisive runs into the circle caused problems for the Spencer defence. It was inevitable that the Jokers would take the lead and Jabba opened the scoring with a well-taken goal.
Having taken the lead, the Jokers continued to use the space well and worked hard off the ball. However continued pressure on the Spencer defence did not yield a further goal. In fact, going behind seemed to spur the Spencer players on. One of their attacks yielded the equalizer when a save by Frost ran free to the Spencer forward for an easy conversion. From a short corner, Spencer added to their goal tally and went into the half-time break 2-1 ahead.
Following a comprehensive analysis of the first half during the break, the Jokers started the second half with renewed determination and were rewarded with the equalizer and Jabba's second goal. However, Spencer struck back quickly to regain the lead. The game had entered a phase of good end to end hockey and the Jokers again equalized through Jason Foster who matched his prowess in defence with a well taken goal. The Jokers then went ahead through Jabba's third goal and his well deserved hat-trick. 4-3 to the Jokers and victory was in sight.
However Spencer continued to battle the mighty Jokers. Finding one of their strikers unmarked in the circle on several occasions, Spencer added two further goals to run out the eventual winners 5-4. This was a disappointing result after long periods of flowing play from the Jokers. However the game was a great advert for Masters hockey.
DOD: Frosty for trying to play through injury