Josh Grigg's on Fire for Men’s 2s
By Billy Winter
Guildford M1 2 – 2 SHC Men’s 2s
A notably wet day in leafy Surrey laid the backdrop from the South Prem’s top of the table clash between Guildford, going in with a 100%-win rate, and the mighty 2s. With Max Anderson side lined through injury and Scotty, Bean, Foxy and Dan Hunt heading the rally cry of the 1st team to Oxted – the side was short of 5 key players, meaning the repeat fixture of a friendly loss earlier in the season stood as a real test of the squad depth and quality we have boasted so far throughout the season.
It appears the excitement was all too much for some of our younger stars, as on the eve of the game Jakey ‘JT’ Thompson and Jamie ‘JET’ Taylor went toe to toe over the Whatsapp group for a second week in a row over a woman, only to ensure all messages were swiftly deleted by morning; so with isolating Ore the only witness – much was left to speculation, leaving Doidge beside himself with missing out. Max took the day off to work on his tolerance and spent much of the morning scouting the Ladies section of our opposition, with some modest success as well I hear.
After a closure of A3 and Wittsy falling foul to Michael’s trapping in the warmup; the odds appeared against us. Thankfully, Frankie was there in Coach Creed’s stead to rally the boys and after an extensive explanation of the on-pitch camera, we were desperate to get on with the game.
It’s safe to say Guildford were probably the dominant force for much of the opening stages, but thanks to the brilliant work of our kids at the back, a resilient crowd and some sublime saves from Griggs, we absorbed much of the pressure to transition into some fairly inspired moves of our own. Nevertheless, we entered the half time break at 0-0.
We came into the second half with much more confidence and after a wonderful solo effort from James, Billy found himself in prime position for another (overhead) ‘tap in’ to poke us into the lead. I’m pretty confident soon after we had a player sent off, whoever it was, I’m sure Scotty appreciated the tribute.
A battle of wills ensued, big tackles, bad passes and lots of tired legs as Guildford pulled level about 15 minutes from time. This appeared to be a terminal score until Michael Moran decided to ‘give it a go’ and skinned half their team, then megged the keeper from an angle he had no right to shoot from, 2-1. This goal got me excited, well done.
Sadly, four minutes from time Guildford obtained a probably deserved equaliser from a short corner and despite Rhys trying to hand the oppo the win in the dying moments, the game concluded at 2-2.
Tough to take when leading going into the final minutes, but had we been given that result at the start of the day all would have been happy. The result is a testament to the resilience of our squad to still compete with the very best in this league even with so many rotations, everyone who came in did a superb job which only heightens the competition for next week. Jamie and Wittsy were rightly praised in the voting for MOM but it was Griggsy that won the day and my vote for some truly exceptional work between the sticks.
Thanks to all the friends, family and partners who turned up to support, having such a huge backing on the side for an away fixture was a massive boost for us. The boys will regroup on Thursday in preparation for the visit of fellow highfliers Milton Keynes.
Lessons From the game:
- Shorts are an important part of your match kit
- Michael is actually good at hockey
- Cameras are smarter than cameramen
- Jakey and Jamie have some things to work out
- Midtable is not ambitious enough for us!
MOM – Josh Grigg
DOD – Billy Winter, said missing shorts