Men's 2s March On Against Maidenhead
By Tom Beaumont
Men’s 2s 6 – 2 Maidenhead M1
One ginger down but Men’s 2s still red hot the day after Valentine’s Day.
Congratulations must first be awarded to two midfielders at opposite ends of their playing careers who were promoted to the first team at the weekend alongside Redders. Well done Scott, Josh and Tom. Redders, make sure you come back with some kit this time. Willy Binter, having battled booze, all nighters and 20 a day all year but still put in strong performances, finally succumbed to a sore knee, meaning what was a strong 16 on Monday was in jeopardy late in the week. Fortunately half term meant Olly Shelton was available for the first time this season, and that nobody had any excuses for turning up late to the meet time.
Courteous Coach Creed gave the boys an extra fifteen minutes in bed post Valentine’s day, (I have to say I think it was generous to assume many of the 2s needed the whole fifteen but there we go) but was still upset when certain members of the squad still flouted his arrangements. Nevertheless as one of the latecomers was responsible for providing his whiteboard and board pens (apparently the combined might of the National Lottery and Bisham Abbey don’t stretch to hockey whiteboards) the team talk had to wait for your correspondent, and then Sheridan and, finally, Bartram.
Two things became evident in the first ten minutes of the game, namely Brendan’s team talk must have been pretty good, and Beaumont clearly had prepared appropriately as, for the first time since Doidge’s injury, we scored two out of two corners. Unfortunately Scott’s promotion to the first team meant Birdie had to run after his man all day rather than just ask Scott to do it for him, and Adam tried to take on the responsibility of reducing the number of volunteer umpires in the south leagues over the next few season. Despite this good start, Haycroft must have been lovesick and dreaming of the night before as Maidenhead hit back and we went into half time at 2-2.
There was the real danger of getting drawn into an end to end scrap similar to the away fixture until in the second half Bartram sobered up and Olly Shelton and Finn Cooper (2) showed Redders and Tom that there is serious competition for places in the first team with solid finishes to put the result beyond doubt. All in all, 6-2 probably flattered Maidenhead as we passed them to death and on a different day could have (should have) scored ten.
If you monitored social media channels on Sunday evening it would appear that for some of our number, winning games for the 2s has become so routine that the mixed team took priority on their feeds. Sherro, please make sure this is remedied in future weeks.
Next week the 2s travel to Southgate away, always a tough fixture but this time a win will put us one place closer to automatic promotion. Recent form at Southgate isn’t fantastic, but as long as Scott doesn’t deflect the ball onto his own teammates’ feet next week and they don’t play half their first team again, Saturday afternoon promises to be a cracker of a game. Hopefully the responsibility of writing this will pass to someone else, particularly as my housemates now think I wash the 2s shirts every week.