Men's 2s in Close Game with Southgate
By Brendan Creed
Men’s 2s 1 – 1 Southgate M2
‘Good night was it Redders?’
It was a windy day, the likes that Murrayfield had seen previously during England’s battle up in the North North.
A war of attrition was very much on the cards. Both teams trying to play good hockey, umpires refusing to comply with such standards; a tight nervy game was to follow. Whilst the majority had decided to turn up on time (toilet stops included), a certain youthful pair; Max “steel cheeks” Anderson and Joshua “Eyes tell a different story” Redstone fancied a late arrival meanwhile our resident German flew back early from the family holiday to make sure he wasn’t to miss out on some tackling and getting stuck in, clearly frustrated by the lack of efficiency shown by Lufthansa.
The first half was made up of physical play with very few clear cut chances for both teams. Southgate took the lead midway through the first half; a long ball played up to Batchelor, perfectly controlled with his left peg, before remembering to use his stick, then smashed it in the bottom corner. 1-0 Southgate. Redders was physically with us in north London, mentally still stuck in a grimey suburban bar in Woking dreaming of “that one that got away”.
Second half started, a completely different Surbiton side game out of the blocks. Forwards pressing aggressively, midfielders getting up and down the pitch and defenders “mixing it up”, physically imposing and not afraid to stand up where needed; Redders still not sure which side of his stick to use, must have been a strong Russian Vodka last night...
Tom Smith, on a lung-busting run, beat three using skills the likes of George Best would be proud of, won a stroke. Rhys Linnell stepped up, left side netting, no nonsense. 1-1. Redders still trying to work out how many doubles or singles he had last night, struggling to use both hands to count...
Ten minutes to go: a game of counter attack ensues. Multiple corners from Southgate, Mark “David Ginola” Haycroft holding firm and keeping it at 1-1. Missed opportunities from Surbiton were the tale of the second half, the last connection that has previously treated us well... missing today in north London.
POM: Rhys Linnell. Solid and flair. Delivered when it mattered.
DOD: Brendan “Jaap Stam” Creed. Thought we had lost the game and forgot Rhys had scored, not the brightest...
Special mention to Redders – left before match teas so avoided the questioning about going out last night which he denied during the game.